This Momentous Volume Aims to Sove liVM;
Perhaps Your Own or Your Entire Family!
192 "·do" Pages 1 09 Pictures
BY the grace of Providence, we Amer-
icans may never be subjected to a
sneak aHack nf atom bombs dropped
without Wl\rning on key points all over
the nation. B UI what pricel ess rom fori
to posSC!:ss aU this wonderful guidance
in case Ihe worst J/xJIIId happen. JUSt
think of Ihe precious lives it may help
}'OLI save!
Here, right at four fingertips, are
of scientificall y accurate precautions and
Government recommended procedures. piCluri:.:ed instructions on
how to protect yourself and your loved
ones _ how to administer life-saving
firS( aid _ what til do dUTil1g
and 4ft I' an .Hack !
Ii ••• ·s II III .... Gllmps •• , ttle Hundteill of
Vilal Qu.,lIol\$ thb VII'I"me .'lIwen , , .
II you 0'. wil"in 1,000 yords of the blad.
",hal ,ha"ld yO\l do imm",ialely to on in;_
min your don9 .'?
Whol Iypes of dothing "elp prated your
body ogo;nst ,low-killing ionizing ,ays? or. Ihe 10f •• 1 ploCts 10 hid. 01
home and away?
How con you prolect yours.I' from
"prompt" and "lingering'"
How 10 p,alett yourself from bvrns and
How (Oil you decontomillale your fo ... ily. food alld ho"' e of rodiaadi"it')?
Plui hund,.ds of olhe, Jile_loving sof. ",
Meai\ll. ' ond " whol.lo..tfo" Inlo,lI\olionl
This book incorpo rar('s prot('<ti ve m('u ·
U{('S whi ch were tr i('d at Bikini and Eni_
welOk 'I./hat: more {han 40,000 took part
in atomic bomb tesu.
pricelt'Ss book is urgem "must"
r('ading for "''''Y man. woman and child!
This may be the of your lifeti me
to SAVE your life and those of your
IOVM ones !
Look for 1be WISl! books are
WISE old bird! uad ..... arked
From the collecti on of the
z n m
o Preljge;
V ibrary
t P
San Franci sco, Cali fornia
Watson Davis
Jane Stafford
Marjorie Van de Water
Sam Matthews
Wadsworth Likely
New York
Wm. H. Wise & Co., Inc.
Copyright 1950
Wm. H. Wise & Co., Inc.
In American democracy one of the fundamental principles
is that the people shall know what is happening and what is
likely to happen. Freedom of information-the right to know
-is implicit in the American system. It is for that reason that
our government and the public officials and scientists involved,
are backed by public opinion when it reveals all that it can
about atomic energy that can be told without giving aid and
comfort to a potential enemy.
This right and duty to publish what the people wish to
know and should know motivates this book. as it does the
whole civilian defense program of our nation confronted by
atomic danger from without.
The facts within this book and the conclusions reached, not
always pleasant and reassuring. will serve to alert and safe-
guard not alone the ordinary citizen, but many members of
the great body of public officials, ranging from those in villages
to the Federal Government itself.
The information conveyed in this book is of necessity a part
of the American scene today. Those of us who have to confront
the dangers of atomic attack should rejoice that we at least,
unlike those behind the Iron Curtain. have some immunizing
appreciation of these dangers. When danger is known, some-
thing can be done about it. Ignorance is a breeder of false
security. We are convinced here in America that the right to
know is as precious as our strength to resist the forces in the
world which would like to enslave us in ignorance.
Director, Science Service
Introduction: LIFE WILL GO ON
Atomic Forces-Destruction from the Bomb--Under-
water or Underground Explosion-Effect of Air Burst-
Radiation Sickness-After-Effects of Bombing
Civil Defense-Volunteer Jobs in Civil Defense-The
Warden's Job--Rescue Workers-Caring for the Home-
less-Fire and Police Aid-Defense within the Home
National Civil Defense-The National Director-The
Community Director
New Weapons---Infonnation Centers
What Is Radiation? - Initial Radiation - Residual
Radiation .
What is RW?-Radioactivity from the Superbomh--The
Use of Radioactive Isotopes
Photographic Film-Wilson Cloud Chamber-Ionization
Chambers - Electroscope - Proportional Counters -
Geiger-Muller Counter-Scintillation Counters-Atomic
Detectors for You
Methods of Decontamination-Reducing Contamination
at Home-Decontamination of Large Areas-Contam-
ination of Food and Water
How to Control Fear-Keeping the Public Informed-
Preparation for a Crisis
Simple Shelters-The Central Control Station-How to
Make Your Home Safer-New Buildings
The Geography of First Aid-First Aid Treatment-
Radiation Sickness-Serious Bleeding-Tourniquets
Moderate Treatment-Pressure Treatment of Bums-
Preventing Pain-Blood Transfusions-First Aid for
Symptoms-First Aid for Shock
Fire Prevention-The Fire Department-Volunteer Auxil-
iary Firemen-Making a City Fireproof
Role of the Citizen-Sabotage
History of Atomic Energy-Fission of Uranium-Sepa-
rating the Kinds of Uranium-The Hydrogen Bomb
Difficulties of Use-Use of Radioactive Isotopes
Kinds of Hydrogen-The Theory of the Superbomb
Millions upon millions of the world's population today are
fearful of A-bomb attack. Hanging over our heads is the atomic
sword of Damocles.
There are some things that we can do about this danger.
That is the reason for this book. It tells the facts about the sit-
Millions upon millions of the world's poplJ/ation today are fearful
0/ A-bomb attack-
uation. Knowing the facts, all of liS can face them more effec-
tively. Unknown dangers are greatest.
Most important is a conviction that each of us must keep
before him: Come what may, the world will continue in its
orbit, peopled by human beings who will carry all the civiliza-
tion so painfully evolved through the ages.
Great disasters have come to the earth from time to time.
There was the Black Death of the Middle Ages, when bubonic
plague was relatively more devastating than the bomb on Hiro-
shima. Each day a certain number of us are killed in automo-
bile accidents, railroad and airplane wrecks, drown in the fivers
and the seas. Some die lingeringly of cancer, others are
murdered in conflicts among individuals. Never in recent his-
tory has there been a day on which war, big or little, wide-
spread or localized, has not taken its toll. Some in China,
India, and elsewhere are this minute dying of starvation, lit-
erally dying of not having enough food. Some of us in America
are eating ourselves into an early grave.
Each generation is born, lives and dies. The A-bomb, if it
comes, like any disaster, will prune human lives. Finally each
of us must die. It is a question of timing.
Perhaps this book will save your life. Perhaps the world will
work its way out of its present dangerous muddle without the
use of A-bombs.
Poison gas was used in the First World War. It was not ac-
tually used in World War II because of a stalemate on gas, with
both sides ready to use this form of warfare but both sides not
willing to take the initiative. This may have been because of
the fear of retaliation.
For a similar reason the dreadful use of A-bombs may be
delayed or indefinitely postponed.
If we can try to control human behavior through the United
the falling of A-bombs may be prevented-
A-bombs are merely one of the new potential tools of war-
fare that threaten our future. There are biological weapons.
germ or bacterial warfare. There are newer kinds of poisons,
such as "nerve" gases and the radiological weapons Of "death
dusts" that are A-bomb by-products. But A-bombs are prob-
ably the most powerful weapon of any world conflict to come.
It is far easier to talk about such weapons as the A-bomb
than it is to discuss, realistically, measures that might keep the
~ o r l d at peace and save us from the horrors of atomic war.
After a war must come peace. If we could break this chain
in the future, the very real conflicts between communism and
democracy might be resolved without the waste of devastating
war. There would need to be ' realization on both sides that,
short of unthinkable annihilation of all who differ with each
other, the opponents must reconcile their conflicts.
This is the catch in the situation: We can control atoms so
much more effectively than men's minds and emotions, partic-
ularly human behavior behind the iron curtain.
If we can try to control human behavior, through the United
Nations, through as cool a war of ideas and words as possible,
through mobilization of world opinion, as well as marshalling
of our military strength, the falling of A-bombs may be
If A-bombs fall, it will be another failure in our civilization
-but most of us will live on even through such a disaster.
This book is designed to increase your chances of living.
Out of the sun a black, cigar-shaped object faUs toward the
earth. At the edge of town a filling station attendant sees it
cross the slice of sky between the car above him and the edge
of his grease pit. The center fielder of the visiting baseball
team sees the moving spot, then looks back toward the battcr,
impatient for the third out. A woman in the park hears a
strange, thin whistle and looks up, shading her eyes.
At a point 2000 feet above the ground, the first atomic
rocket of World War III explodes over city. In one vast
flash of to 100 suns, the are etched
At 0 point 2000 feet above the ground, the first atomic rocket of
World War III explodes over your city-
Light buildings and homes are toto fly demolished by the blost-
against a sky of fire. A blinding ball of flame leaps from the
point where the rocket exploded.
There, in a millionth of a second, a lump of plutonium or
uranium, perhaps the size of a basketball, disappears. As it
vanishes, the temperature at that point jumps to 1,000,000
degrees Centigrade. The air around it is pushed outward by
a pressure hundreds of thousands times that of the normal
pressure of the atmosphere.
A thousandth of a second later, the ball of fire is 45 feet
across. Its temperature has dropped to 300,000 degrees.
After a full second, there is a globe of flaming air 450 feet
wide, the size of a city block.
The shadows cast by this ball of fire are etched permanently
into concrete sidewalks and granite buildings. Directly beneath
the burst, in the split second before the blast wave arrives,
pedestrians simply vanish into smoke and ash. This is the
point which atomic scientists call "ground zero." Here the side-
walk temperature is between 3,000 and 4,000 degrees.
With the sheer flash heat comes another form of radiating
energy, the only one which a conventional high-explosives
bomb cannot match on its smaller scale: Nuclear radiation,
X-rays of the A-bomb, invisible yet striking through concrete
and steel to destroy the single human cells in bone marrow,
blood and living tissues.
Then the blast hits. A moving wall of shock crushes the city
under a giant hand, wrenches it from its foundations, levels
a mile-wide area into rubble. Small masonry buildings are
engulfed by a pressure wave and collapse completely. Light
buildings and homes are totally demolished by the blast. Fac-
tories of steel are stripped of roofing and siding. Only twisted
skeletons remain, leaning away from ground zero as though
struck by a hurricane of stupendous proportions.
When the shock and blinding heat have gone, fire springs up
in the wreckage. And billowing out in great clouds of dust,
falling back to earth from the towering mushroom of smoke,
there is the hidden terror which scientists call residual radio-
What are these massive forces which an atomic explosion
turns loose? How will they affect you?
When energy is released suddenly by any sort of bomb, the
rise in temperature of the exploding material causes complete
vaporization of the bomb, casing and all. Solid matter suddenly
turns to gas.
This gas is in a restricted space, pushing outward with
huge pressure on the air around it. So great is this push that
it can move air, water or earth, whatever is around the bomb
when it goes off. The series of events which follow constitute
The tremendous heat generated by the explosion sends forth energy
in a way which the scientists cal/thermol rodiation-
the destructive blast of the bomb. In TNT and atomic bomb
alike, blast does nearly all the physical damage by brute force.
The tremendous heat generated by the explosion sends forth
energy in a second way, which the scientists call thermal
radiation. This is heat traveling with the speed of light, heat
exactly like that given off by the sun. The rays are not pene-
trating. They are stopped by any object which stops light.
Alone in the atomic bomb, rays of nuclear fission channel
a third explosion of energy. When the radioacti ve material of
the bomb disintegrates, it releases various particles of elec-
tricity: beta particles, the atom's electrons; alpha particles,
which are combinations of neutrons and protons; neutrons
alone, the particles from the center of atoms; and finally gamma
rays, which are high-energy rays very similar to X-rays.
The cumulative effect of these sources of energy is the meas-
ure of the atomic bomb, or of any other explosion of nuclear
force, whether it be in the fission of uranium or the fusion of
hydrogen in the "Hell-bomb."
The Atomic Energy Commission and Department of De-
fense have released a comprehensive handbook entitled "The
Effects of Atomic Weapons," half a decade after the world's
first atomic bomb was exploded. It tells the technical story
of what will happen to any city under an attack similar to that
on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The nominal atomic bomb is the equivalent of 20,000 tons of TNT-
A large is struck a small structure-
AEC scientists at Los Alamos who wrote the report describe
a "nominal atomic bomb." This they use as the basis for their
calculations in damage and death. The bomb is the equivalent
of 20,000 tons of TNT. Expressed in electrical energy, it is
roughly equal to the daily output of the generators at Hoover
Dam. Yet this tremendous force is only equal, they say, to the
energy which would be released should 2.2 pounds of uranium
235 fission completely.
The explosion of the nominal bomb takes place in the first
millionth of a second after two lumps of uranium or plutonium
are brought together into one lump. The shock wave, the heat
rays, the radiation leap outward.
The shock wave moves with the speed of sound. In a sense
it is a moving wall of air, water or earth under tremendous
pressure. When this wall hits a resistant surface, it hits with a
punch multiplied by the size of the surface in its path. Thus
a large building is struck by a greater force than a small struc-
ture, and often suffers greater damage.
In an atomic bomb exploded in the air, the front of this
shock wave is vertical. The high pressure hits as a giant blow.
Behind the shock front, high pressure reaches back for a con-
siderable distance on the wave. Behind that is a region where
the pressure drops to less than normal, a region of suction.
When a building is struck by the blast wave, it is first
punched on one side by the wall shock. Then, as pressure
m()ves on with the speed of sound, it envelops the entire build-
ing, squeezing down from all sides. This pressure decreases
rapidly, and is succeeded by suction which pulls wind, debris
and people back toward the point of the explosion. With shock
and suction comes wind of great speed, first away from the
bomb, then toward it, adding to the havoc.
The great power of the atomic bomb produces so-called
"mass distortion" of buildings. It engulfs and flattens whole
The pressure of the blast wave is succeeded by 5uction-
The area of complete 2600 feet in raaius-
buildings. The area of virtually complete destruction at Hiro-
shima and Nagasaki, where the bombs were approximately
the size of the "nominal bomb," was about 2,600 feet in radius.
Inside a circle swung on a line half a mile long, the area of
almost total havoc covered of a square mile.
The circle of severe damage, where buildings are wrecked
to the point of near collapse, will reach out a mile, covering
four square miles. From this point, damage will diminish with
distance, depending to a great extent upon the weather and
hills and valleys of the city. Even as far as eight miles from the
blast, windows will break and plaster will fall. The overall
area of damage will be about 200 square miles.
Buildings designed to be earthquake-resistant were found
in Japan to have suffered remarkably light damage, even when
relatively close to ground zero. Smoke stacks, tall and thin,
were often by-passed by the blast. On the other hand, quirks of
pressure produced by the atmosphere produced havoc far be-
yond the circle where it was expected. At Nagasaki, barracks
nearly five miles from ground zero collapsed to ground level.
In the strongest buildings of reinforced concrete, pressure
on the outside walls may cause the roof or floors to buckle.
The walls facing the blast may be dished inward. There will
be uniformly heavy damage to false ceilings, partitions and
Walls facing f h ~ b/ost may be dished inword-
plaster. Brick facings and cornices will be blown off into the
streets, striking down the people caught outdoors.
Shed-types steel factory buildings will be bent over and
blown apart, even when more than a mile from ground zero.
Brick buildings, whose walls carry the entire load of construc-
tion, are among the most easily damaged. At distances up to
6,200 feet, they probably will collapse completely, taking with
them everyone inside. Houses of wood at Hiroshima and Naga-
saki were wrecked as far as 7,500 feet from the ground zero.
The splintered wreckage kindled fires which followed.
Small steel-frame bridges were found to be quite resistant
to blast, as were underground water mains, electrical conduits
and gas lines. But damage to the water system through the
breakage of pipes in houses and offices buildings will be one of
Damage to the water system through the breakage of pipes will b4
one of the most serious effecfs-
the most serious effects of an atomic explosion. Overheac
utility lines may be heavily damaged up to two miles fron
ground zero. Automobiles, buses and streetcars will be hi
hard by blast and fire at distances up to a mile. In this country
atomic scientists believe, reinforced concrete buildings will b<
generally less resistant to blast than Japan's earthquake-proo
buildings. But tall buildings having heavy steel frames such a:
office buildings and hospitals, should withstand the effect 0
blast quite well. For American-built frame houses, it is believe,
that the radius of structural blast damage would not excee,
7,500 feet-a mile and a half from ground zero-wherea:
at Nagasaki severe damage to houses extended out 8,500 feet
We build our homes better.
For an air burst over water rather than land, the shock waVf
is much the same. At Able Day at Bikini, ships suffered seven
damage or were sunk 3,000 feet from the point directly be
neath the blast. Minor damage occurred out more than a mile
In an underwater or underground atomic explosion, how-
ever, the action of the shock wave is entirely different. "There
are no actual experiences upon which to base conclusions
(about an underground burst)," the AEC reports, disregard-
ing Soviet Russia's claim that it set off an atom bomb and
moved a mountain.
Blast damage from an underground or underwater atomic
explosion is expected to be less than that from an air burst.
If a nominal atomic bomb were exploded 50 feet down in
ordinary soil, a crater 800 feet across and 100 feet deep would
be blown open. A bomb such as the Baker Day explosion, at
Bikini, detonated underwater at shallow depths, would throw
tremendous quantities of water into the air.
Both the soil and the water from such bursts would be in-
~ \ \
Office buildings and hospitals should wit,hstcmd
quite well-
tensely radioactive. In these two cases, danger from long-
lasting radiation is expected to be greater than from any other
source. The explosion's heat will be absorbed entirely by the
material around it. And while blast damage will be done, the
scientists have calculated the greatest blast damage is produced
by a bomb exploded about 2,000 feet in the air.
At that height, chances of anyone surviving within 2,600
feet-half a mile-are very poor, the scientists say bluntly.
Persons within that circle will either be killed by the blast
wave, crushed by falling buildings, burned to death or given a
greater-than-lethal dose of radiation.
While the blast wave will take about 10 seconds to travel
the two miles in which it does damage, the heat wave of an
atomic blast lasts only three seconds. It will set flash fires and
char combustible materials. Human beings exposed to it will
receive more or less serious skin burns if within two miles of
ground zero. At 4,000 feet, roof tiles will bubble and blister.
A crater 800 feef across and 100 feet deep would be blown open-
The heat will roughen polished granite, set fire to dark clothing
and burn rubber tires a mile from the blast.
This radiant heat travels only in a straight line. Protection
from it is afforded by almost any object. Clothing shields the
body. The shadow of a tree trunk will be untouched by the
heat. J t is this phenomenon which produced the "profile burns"
on buildings or human beings. It sears only where a surface
is within line·of·sight from the explosion.
Burns from flash heat and the fires produced by the heat
caused more than half the deaths and three-quarters the injuries
at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. There were no fire departments
after the explosions. Water pressure in the city mains was
practically zero. Twenty minutes after the blast came the "fire
storm," wind blowing into the holocaust from all directions,
blowing 30 to 40 miles an hour at its height.
This is not all. The atomic scientists estimate that at 3,000
feet from the bomb's burst, there is better than 50 percent
chance you will be killed by nuclear radiation, even if you are
shielded by 12 inches of concrete. This is the effect of the
deadly rays you cannot see. Neutrons and gamma rays are the
dangerous particles of energy in this wave.
Gamma radiation (X·rays) from a nominal atomic bomb
will kill at 4,200 feet from the burst. Neutrons are not quite
so far-reaching, but they will deliver a lethal dose as far as
half a mile from ground zero. Shielding from either of these
particles is a matter of reinforced concrete by the foot, or
solid lead inches thick.
, ,
I , ,
, ,
, ,
, ,
, ,
Gamma radiation will kill at 4200 feet from the burst-
A lethal dose of radiation from the immediate blast will
have these effects: Varying degrees of shock, possibly within
a few hours; nausea, vomiting and diarrhea in the following
day or two; then fever. Often there will be no pain in the first
few days, but merely discomfort, depression and fatigue.
The early stages of radiation sickness may be followed by
two or three days when the patient is free from all symptoms,
although profound changes are taking place meanwhile in his
body. Then the earlier symptoms reappear. Active illness is
soon followed by delirium, coma and finally death, which
comes within two to three weeks. Infection, internal bleeding.
swelling of the throat glands, loss of hair and degeneration of
the sex organs are all apt to occur.
AEC scientists and genetics experts are extremely cautious
in discussing one vital question: Will the children and grand-
children of atomic victims be human monsters? Chromosomes
and genes, biological factors which control heredity, are
changed by radiation. But how much are they changed? Is
there serious danger that these changes can be passed along
to the next generation, or those which come after that?
Risk of passing on any changes in the chromosomes can be
reduced if atomic victims "refrain from begetting offspring
for a period of two or three months following exposure," the
reports states. However, this precaution probably would not
lessen the chances, if they exist at all, of passing on changes in
the genes. Until large gaps in man's knowledge of radiation and
its genetic effects can be closed, admit the scientists, estimates
of what can or may happen in this field from atomic explosions
will be little better than guesses.
Will the bombed city be left an echoing ghost town, too
"hot" with radioactivity to be entered? If the bomb explodes
Will the bombed city be left an echoing ghost town-
high in the air, the AEC report says, this hazard will be very
small. The radioactive residue of the bomb itself will fall to
earth, but the small amounts of these fission products and the
wide area over which they will be dispersed lead military men
to discount almost completely any real danger from them,
Some dirt and dust will be sucked up into the boiling cloud
of an atomic explosion, but this too will travel far and come
back to earth spread over many miles, However, the "base
surge" of water from an underwater explosion, or the great
clouds of dirt thrown by a bomb exploded at street level or
beneath the surface, will be intensely radioactive, Lethal
levels of radiation in the wake of such bombs are possible and
must be guarded against, the scientists warn.
If an atomic bomb were a fizzle, unexploded radioactive
material might settle over a limited area in high enough con-
centrations to be dangerous, Such fizzles are possible, If the two
lumps of fissionable material do not come together just right,
the bomb might explode only partially, breaking apart and
scattering its substance into the air.
Radioactive materials might be deliberately sown without
an explosive taking place, as a new weapon of war. Such ma-
terials can and are being made constantly in the normal opera-
tion of atomic piles. Small amounts of certain elements can be
made to give off tremendous amounts of radiation when so
treated. If these were to be spread uniformly over a limited
area, that area might be denied for human habitation for a
considerable period of time. Those who remained within the
area would be poisoned in much the same way that nuclear
radiation from an exploding bomb strikes the human body.
Even if great numbers of people are not directly killed. even
if large areas are not laid waste as by direct atomic explosion,
the panic-inspiring potential of radiological warfare as a "mys-
Radioactive materials might be deliberately sown without an ex-
tery weapon" makes it a grim possibility which must be taken
into account in civilian defense planning.
The blast of an atomic bomb is more violent, but methods
of dealing with explosion damage, fire and rescue of the in-
jured were developed long ago, and are not changed by the
mere fact that an atomic blast is stronger than ordinary TNT
But in combating the radioactivity that comes with atomic
bombing, new hazards and new ways to meet them must be
planned for. Rescue crews and monitoring teams must have
" ,
Panic is a major danger of atomic bombing-
instruments to show them where dangerous levels of radio-
activity have been left. They must know the length of time a
human being can remain in buildings and rubble-strewn areas
left radioactive. They must know new techniques of decon-
They must know how to deal with panic, for scientists are
agreed that panic is the major danger of atomic bombing.
"Mass hysteria could convert a minor incident into a major
disaster," they say.
The first atomic bomb at Hiroshima killed 78,150 people.
This is far from a "minor incident." But if an American COffi-
munity-anywhere-were atom-bombed, panic would strike
80 out of 100 of the physically unharmed survivors. Tens of
thousands of thousands of Americans might be struck down
by sheer terror, making vastly more difficult the job of meeting
atomic attack. The great industrial centers of the nation might
suddenly become empty shells as the people fled from A-bombs
yet to come.
You have a job to do in defending your home, your home
town, your country against an A-bomb attack, when and if it
comes. Whether it be a full-time paid job, a volunteer job or
just the things you must know how to do on your own, is not
important. What is important is in knowing what to do and,
then, doing it.
Strangely enough, for every citizen to know what to do is
in itself a form of civil defense. It is the helpless, the people
who do not feel needed who are the causes of panic. And panic
is one of the big dangers in an A-bomb attack or in any kind
of a disaster.
What is your job?
That depends on the kind of person you are, where you
work, what you like to do ordinarily.
First, there are the special agencies found in every city and
town. These, and the people who work for them will be of
vital importance in any A-bomb atack.
If you work for the telephone company, for the electric
company, for a street car or bus line, for the water system, the
gas company, a radio station, the railroad, the city government,
or even the zoo, you will probably have an important job to do.
Every citizen must know what to do in the event of on A-bomb
Radio engineers will keep communications open to the rest of the
If and when an A-bomb falls on your city, the water pressure
must be kept up, the fire equipment must be mobilized, com-
munication must be maintained-there are a myriad of i m ~
portant functions which must be kept going.
Right now, in many American cities, the public utilities
have completed plans for what they will do in case of an A-
bomb attack. Water companies know what valves to turn so
precious water will not drain away through broken and twisted
pipes. You, if you work for the water company, might already
be assigned a valve to turn if the bomb should happen to fall
in a particular area.
In all the public utilities there will be specific jobs to do to
keep things running where possible, to provide substitutes
where that isn't possible.
Telephones, where the lines stay intact, will be vital for com-
munication between important offices in the target city and to
other cities which can provide relief and places where refugees
can stay. If you work for the telephone company, yours will
be an important job when and if an A·bomb comes.
But radio engineers-hams and professionals-will prob·
ably be the persons upon whom your home town must rely to
keep communications open to the rest of the world. Emergency
wave-lengths are being set aside for communications in case
of disruption of regular channels. Radio hams will be vital
links in the emergency radio networks.
Y Oll will notice that the transmitters of your home town
radio stations are not usually where the downtown offices
are, they are on the outskirts of town. Most of them have
their own stand-by power units, to be used if the regular
sources of supply are put out of commission. This is a most
fortunate thing, and the men who work there will be essential
cogs in OUf defense effort if and when an attack comes.
Keeping the gas and electricity going, or shutting it off where
necessary will be important too. If you work for the gas or
light company, you will have a big responsibility to your home
town. The enemy will be wanting to kill people only as a
secondary matter. What he is really after is to knock out your
home town as a going concern-if he knocks out the sources of
power he will be doing a good job.
This is what eivil defense is aimed at-keeping your home
town a going concern-keeping it providing the regular needs
of the people who live there-keeping it providing the tools
of war and the necessities of life which it is expected to produce.
Therefore, not only in the water, gas and electricity plants,
but also in the factories, in the offices, in the government
bureaus in your home town, there will be civil defense organi-
zations. It's this simple-keep things running so far as you can.
This means that you-where you work-will be assigned
to some job to do in case of an A-bomb attack. You may be
assigned to go up to the roof immediately after some kinds of
attacks, armed with bucket of sand and shovel or with a
chemical fire extinguisher to see that a fire does not get started
and put your bui lding out of commission. You may be assigned
to the first aid station to take care of people cut with flying
glass or knocked in the head by falling masonry. But in all
the tasks for which you will be trained, the objective is the
same-keep the country running, fade with the knockout
punch the enemy was expecting to deliver to us.
' 1 ~ " ~ ~ \ . . . ­
'. ~

You may be assigned to go up on the roof armed with a huckef of
sand and shovef-
Outside of your jobs, your places of work, there will be, of
course, many tasks to perform. Volunteer jobs in civil defense
may be expected to be broken down in much the same manner
they are broken down by the British. They are, after all, old
hands at the game.
You will probably find many jobs to do, many jobs for which
to be trained, in your local civil defense headquarters. Com-
munications must be kept open so civil defense workers may
be deployed to the areas of greatest need, so supplies medical
and food, may be sent where they will do the most good. This
means volunteer work on switchboards, with raida trans-
mitters, as couriers in cars, on motorcycles and on foot.
Where communications are down, or are scanty. there will
be need for special reconnaissance work, for people who will
There will be need for special reconnaissance work-
go out to find out the extent of the damage from any attack, to
determine its boundaries, its seriousness and to make estimates
of what is needed from that information.
No new agency can be set up, whether voluntary or perma-
nent, city. state or federal without its "bureaucracy," its admin-
istrative workers. Typists, teletypewriters, file clerks, secre-
taries-and supervisors for those people-they will be needed,
both as part time volunteers and as full time workers.
The public must be kept informed and there are two phases
to this job. The first phase is the preparatory one-telling the
public what they can do, what they can expect, giving people
the maximum amount of information before an attack occurs.
This is the way democracy works. In the second phase, put into
operation only if and when an A-bomb falls, public informa-
tion will be the vital and specific job of directing the public so
~ --
-- ------------
Thousands are already trained in the use of detection fnstruments-
they do the things which will save their lives and keep them
out of the way of life-saving efforts on the part of others.
Volunteers will have to know how to identify the different
kinds of radioactivity and their extent. They will be attached
to civil defense headquarters so the public, the rescue workers
and the firemen will not have to risk their lives needlessly.
Here we are ahead of Great Britain-this is natural because
we have the A-bomb and thousands of our people have already
worked with radioactive materials in Oak Ridge, Hanford and
other places, including ahnost every university.
Thousands are already trained in the use of detection instru-
ments, and they are trained to teach others. This is a job you
might well be doing for your local civil defense office.
We will have air raid wardens again-but if you are a war-
den your job will be more complex. The wardens will, once
more, be responsible for the organization of people in blocks,
in apartment houses in neighborhoods. The wardens will be
responsible for knowing how many people are in his area,
where they are-so that an estimate can be made, in the event
of an A-bomb attack, of who are safe in shelters, who are away
from the area, and who remain to be rescued from the rubble.
The wardens will see to it that the air raid warnings have
been heard and have been heeded, that everybody will know
where to go when a warning is sounded, or, if they have spe-
cific jobs, will know what to do.
The British have a polite word for one of the most impor-
tant of a warden's jobs-"incident control." The warden will
be the man in charge if any "incident" occurs in connection
with an A-bomb attack. He will be trained in what to do,
whether to call on outside help, whether to enlist volunteers
from the neighborhOod, or whether to ignore the whole thing.
An "incident" can be the falling of rubble across the en-
trance to a family air raid shelter, or it can be the panicking of
the residents of a large apartment house. It will be up to the
warden to know how to handle any kind of an incident.
People who have lost their homes must fi nd shelter-
The warden will be concerned, too, with the movement of
refugees-a horrible word for Americans to get used to. But,
if and when an A-bomb comes near your home, there are two
alternatives---either people in your area will need to move on
to find shelter, or people who have lost their homes will be
moving in with you. These people are refugees.
The warden will have to know, if an A-bomb has destroyed
parts of his area, how many refugees will be leaving. And he
will have to know, if his area is not destroyed, how many
refugees it can take.
Rescue workers might well be called the skilled workers of
civil defense. It is not a matter of just clawing away at falling
rubble until you get to a trapped person. Rescue work calls
for high discipline and technique. It is obvious, for instance,
that clumsy clawing away at rubble might bring more rubble
down upon the rescue worker and further block the avenues of
escape for the trapped victims.
If and when an A-bomb comes, thousands of trained and
skilled rescue workers will be needed. You will have the oppor-
tunity to train for this difficult but rewarding assignment.
The government is hoping that at least 20,000,000 of us will
take first aid courses. Except for the minority of casualties
who will have radiation sickness, the larger number will be
injured in familiar hit by falling masonry, in
shock. Elementary treatment of these everyone should know.

Rescue workers will have to know first aid and stretcher bearing-
Rescue workers particularly will have to know first aid and
stretcher bearing. Another job for you in which first aid will
be particularly important is driving an ambulance.
The British have the appropriate word for everything. One
section of their civil defense corps organization is called
"pioneers." In a sense on which the British probably never
figured, the word is apt.
Pioneer workers will be the first to clear the way for the new
beginning of living after an A-bomb attack. Whatever we call
them, they will be one of the most important parts of our
American volunteer civil defense effort.
Pioneers will clear away the debris and rubble left by an
attack; they will plant the explosives which destroy unsafe
Unin;ured persons who may hove come in contact with radioactive
materials should thoroughly scrub themselves-
buildings. They will be in charge of the early decontamination
of roads and highways so people may move about without
fear. Decontamination of vehicles and clothing will be in their
hands. They will see to it that uninjured persons who may have
come in contact with radioactive materials thoroughly scrub
themselves ....... <me of the most effective first steps in decon ..
They will go into blasted buildings to salvage what can still
be used. Pioneers will make emergency repairs to houses and
to fallen wires and broken gas and water mains. They will clear
roads so refugees can be evacuated and the injured moved
quickly to places of treatment.
By size, the greatest human problem after an A .. bomb attack
will not be the injured, but the homeless. Your talents may be
useful in one of the many tasks to be done in helping them.
You may be needed to escort the homeless men, women and
children to places of safety, to places where they can lie down
for rest. You may be able to give them advice about what to
do-where to get supplies of clothing, where to get food,
where to contact relatives, where to find a temporary home.
There will be rest centers for refugees-you may be needed
to plan meals, to cook them, to oversee the sleeping quarters,
to run the linen laundry, to register your guests.
Large public air raid shelters become, during alerts, com ..
munities with unique problems. You may be the right person
to supervise an air raid shelter; to prevent, tactfully, quarrels
about occupancy of the same space; to see to it that the shelter
is kept clean; to make sure that the young and the old and the
sick get the special attention they need. If you are that person,
it is likely that you will be elected by the fellow residents of
your "community" air raid shelter.
Do you cookJor a large family? Then you may be the volun-
teer answer to the question of where the other volunteer
workers will get something to eat or a hot cup of coffee. There
will be mobile kitchens to man for the purpose.
Along with the citizens who should learn first aid. there will
be a great need of voluntary corps of hospital workers. Per-
haps you were a nurse's aide, or a Red Cross grey lady during
the last war. They will need you again and many more like
you. In addition to training for work in the hospitals. persons
will have to be trained to man emergency treatment centers, to
take the place of, and supplement, hospitals which might be
overcrowded or destroyed in ~ n attack.
There will be mobile kitchens and need of people to mon them-
An A-bomb sets fires immediately. The terrific heat blast
instantaneously scorches everything within range that is in-
flammable. Then these fires begin to spread and other little
fires, coming from gas tanks, stove burners left on in damaged
houses, and from many other causes, start up.
Your fire department will need volunteers, many of them,
trained to help them keep this danger under control.
The police, too, will need an auxiliary force. There will be
a need to direct and control traffic, to maintain order, perhaps
beyond the ability of the regular force to handle it. The pre-
cinct house communications will need extra manning.
Then there will be jobs connected with what the military
call the "pcsitive defenses" of your town. These are the meas-
ures of the army and air force to make it extremely hard for
an enemy plane to get through and to drop an A-bomb.
The army and air force will make if extremely hard for an enemy
plane to get through-
Whether or not you can volunteer for any of these duties,
your first responsibility will be your own home and those in it.
A man's 'home is his castle, and it is his responsibility to make
it as impregnable to attack as he can.
You may consider building a small shelter, if you are a home
owner. It is estimated that many lives would have been saved
at Hiroshima if the Japanese had taken to their very flimsy
shelters when our B-29 was first reported overhead.
You should see that the proper first aid equipment is on
hand. Your children should be taught where to go when the air
raid warning is sounded. You see that everyone in your home
understands instructions and follows orders in case of attack.
You have a final responsibility. If you take part in one of
these many voluntary civil defense activities that final respon-
sibility will be easy. It is to realize that there are many things
that can be done to mitigate the effects of an A-bomb attack
on your city-and to do your share of them efficiently.
' If we all do that, we will do a great deal to keep down the
effects of an A-bomb attack and to maintain the operation of
our cities and our factories.
If Chicago'S mayor were not on speaking terms with the
mayors of Gary and East Chicago, Milwaukee, and all the
cities of downstate Illinois-Chicago would be in a bad way
should A-bombs fall on it. And the nation would be in a bad
way too.
Mutual Aid and Mobile Reserve Ojvision-
The primary purpose of an A-bomb attack has two parts:
To knock out such vital installations as factories, communica-
tions centers, supply depots and the people who run them; and
to knock out the resources, facilities and people who could
put them back into working order,
If Chicago could not depend on its surrounding communi-
ties for fire engines, water, doctors and medical supplies,
emergency hospitals for casualties, rest camps for the home-
less, rescue workers, Chicago would be a lifeless city after an
A-bomb attack
But if, under a well-set up organization and with plans
properly worked out beforehand, the necessary-and only the
necessary-aid is rushed into Chicago after such an attack,
the dead and wounded would be much fewer, the extent of
the damage from fire would be much less, and the ability of the
city to recuperate-to get going again on the war effort-
would be much greater.
Thus civil defense requires a great deal of organizing and
planning-nationally, statewise and locally.
An organization grows and changes when it is put to use.
We may count on it that if we never have to use it, we will
never have a perfect civil defense organization. Right now we
have only theories, based on our untried civil defense organi-
zation of World War II and on the tried and tested British
THE 5T.l.iE
The American system of civil defense-
Paul J. Larsen, who is director of the Civilian Mobilization
office of the National Security Resources Board-the agency
responsible to the President for civil defense plans-puts tho
concept of American civil defense this way:
"Where do you start, in tackling this serious problem of
modern civil defense planning for your cities?
"Fortunately, the natural line of responsibility and author-
ity with which we are favored in this democracy is the basic
pattern for civil defense action in time of war. The prime
mover is the individual citizen. Then in natural succession
comes your local municipal government, then the -state govern-
ment and finally the Federal government.
"Here is a graphic outline of how this natural system of
ours should operate in civil defense:
"1. THE INDIVIDUAL, calm and well-trained as possible
does everything within his power to help himself and those
around him.
"2. THE FAMILY, seeking self-preservation, operates as
a unit in handling its own problems as far as it honestly can.
"3. THE COMMUNITY, well-organized and equipped in
advance, puts its Civil Defense organization to work instantly
to meet the crisis.
"4. NEARBY CITIES come to the community's assistance
with mutual aid and mobile reserves, when they are needed.
"5. THE STATE stands ready to furnish its organized as-
sistance if the situation gets beyond looal control.
"6. THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT has its resources in
readiness to answer the state's call for large scale help.
"7. MILITARY AID, both state and national, and to the
extent available comes to the assistance of the civil authorities
ONLY after all other civilian facilities are exhausted.
This is the pattern, both for the planning states, and for
the operating organization, if and when we need it.
Starting from the top down, there will be a Federal Director
of civil defense.
The national government is operating on the theory that
the less power this official has, the better; the more that can be
done by states and cities within themselves and in cooperation
with each other, the better.
However, experience in Britain shows that, as the bombing
attacks increased, the control from the top had to be tighter,
the directions more specific. Britain even consolidated all her
local fire departments into a national fire service so they could
be sent to where they would do the most good for the national
war effort.
So the pattern looks like this. In the planning stages of civil
defense, the national director will be more of a coordinator
than a director. He will achieve liaison between the various
government departments, civilian and military, on civil defense
problems. He will forward plans and advice to the states and,
through them, to local governments. He will urge them to pass
the necessary legislation, to conduct the necessary training
courses, to set up the necessary staffs.
If and when an all-out war starts, the nation will probably
find it advisable to give him more power. He will then be able
to direct cities which have lagged behind in civil defense plan-
ning to come up to date. He will be able to order mutual aid
pacts. But the main responsibility will still He within the states.
If and when A-bombs begin to drop, the national director's
power will increase. If A-bombs fall on beth Philadelphia and
Camden, just across the river in New Jersey, a mutual aid pact
between the cities might fall down-both wanting to keep all
their fire equipment, all their doctors, all their rescue workers.
Someone must look at such an attack on two cities separated
by a state berder from the national interest. Should Phila-
delphia firemen abandon a row of apartment houses in their
home town and go to a factory in Camden? Someone must have
the position to decide and the power to direct such activities.
This person may, of course, be a regional director respon-
sible to the national director.
Most states already have full time civil defense directors.
They are responsible for more detailed plans and operations
than is the national director, but, like him, they are still on the
level of giving advice, ·coordinating the plans and operations
of local communities. They will draw up and submit to legis-
latures mutual aid agreements between states. They will be
responsible to see that the personnel trained under the national
Plant Rodioloqicol
Evacuatfon Adminlstrallon
Protect Ion
Civilian I
and Health
War Aid
Air Raid
Warning and
Weapons Plantlinq
Aircro:tt Services

Chemical Publ ic
Defense In(ormat,on
Mutual Aid
and Mobile
Suggested model for state organization of civil defense--
Every city with more thon 50,000 populotion may and should con·
sider itsell a pOfenti al torget-
civil defense plan in radiation detection and other subjects J
pass on their training to men and women in the cities.
It is in the communities where details of organization be-
come more complex, where plans and advice from above are
translated into reaLitios. Your city director must survey your I
community and, based on the knowledge he gains thereby and
the knowledge he receives from state and federal civil defense
officials, he must work out detailed organization, recruit the
right people and secure adequate equipment to take care of
any attack,
Every city in this country with more than 50,000 population
can and should consider itself a potential target for A-bombs,
Every town and city within 200 miles, at least, of any potential
targets should consider that all its resources, from its hospital
and fire department to Mrs, Jones' spare bedroom, may be
mobilized to aid a stricken area,
The civilian defense director might weII take the approach
of Brigadier General Gordon Young. engineer commissioner
of the District of Columbia, This is to assume that a national
emergency has been declared, assume that one or more A-
bombs have dropped near the center of his city, What should
the factories, the hospitals, the government agencies, the police
and fire departments, the public utilities, the communications
facilities and the individual citizens have done before the A-
bombs were dropped? What must they be prepared to do dur-
ing and after the attack?
The hnes of his organization wiII be suggested to him from
the federal government, At the start he wiII need few fuII time
workers, a few more part time workers and many volunteers.
The kinds of jobs he wiII have to organize into a smoothly-
running organization, ready to be mobilized in an instant, are
outlined in Chapter 2,
He wiII have to see to it that the vital parts of the com-
munity's body are weII prepared, A start in this direction is
contained in the foIIowing · questionnaire, which General
YGmng asked the organizations in Washington to fiII out.
Name of Individual, and Organization or Function:
Report(s) already submitted:
Assume that a National Emergency is declared, and Washington is warned
that it may be bombed or otherwise attacked on short notice. The District
Commissioners are given emergency powers and ample money. An Air Raid
Warning system is already functioning. You are to assume that any threatened
air raid will be detected at least one hour in advance, and that the city will be
warned by an "alert." Upon such an alert certain precautions may be taken,
but no part of the city will be evacuated.
As soon as such an assumed emergency was declared, you would have a
threefold job facing you: (1) To put your organization into a permanent
state of preparedness for condition of emergency which the city and nation
are entering (which includes anti-sabotage precautions). (II) To decide what
to do, jf an air raid alert is sounded. (III) To decide what to do immediately
after a raid, jf one occurs and the city is bombed .
• • • •
If you are uncertain about an answer, give your best guess. What will
emerge from this study will still be a very tcntative and imperfect document.
It will be studied carefully by the National Security Resources Board; and you
will have full opportunity to assist in perfecting it. Therefore, nothing you may
say or write down now is in any sense a final commitment.
I. Action to be taken following a Declaration of Emergency,
to place you in a permanent state of preparedness
I. Additional Personnel. Would you need any additions to your personnel?
If so:
a. About how many and what kind?
h. Would they be needcd to strengthen existing units, or to create new.
emergency units; if the latter, what units?
c. Would you prefer to (1) recruit them yourself, and (2) to train
them yourself, or would you like outside assistance in recruiting
or training?
NOTE: In answering the above, allow for the fact that some of your
regular personnel may be casualties in an attack, and you may want
to recruit and train replacements for them in advance. Also allow for
the fact that, following an attack. you may need to make emergency
repairs to your 'installations on:a large scale and in a hurry, and may
want an enlarged force to do it.
2. Alternative Executives. What plans, in general terms, would you make for
"Number Two Men" to replace key executives and others followmg an attack,
if the regular oncs were incapacitated?
3. Additional Equipment, Transportation and Supplies. Would you need to
lay in any additions to your present stock? If so:
a. State what is needed, in whatever detail time permits. A list of at
least the larger and more expensive items. or those hard to pro-
cure, would be helpful.
b. To what extent could you get them locally?
c. Would you need any financial or other assistance in obtaining
them? (In the case of City Departments. assume that ample funds
were available; but the availability of items for prompt purchase,
and conflicting demands, must be considered.)
NOTE: Here again, you should allow in your planning for possible
destruction of some of your existing stocks in an attack; and also for
the need of emergency repairs after an attack.
4. Dispersed Storage. Would you establish dispersed storage depots or dumps,
away from the center of the city, for any equipment, transportation or supplies?
If so, where; and what in general would be stored? (Indicate any actually exist-
ing storage of the sort. If confidential, omit details.)
5. Space or Facilities for New Activities. Is there any housing, storage, office
space or other covered or open space, which you would need to ohtain, or to
have earmarked for you in advance, for use during an alert or after an attack?
Indicate in as much detail as possible what, how much. where, and what equip-
ment"supplies and special installations would be involved.
NOTE: The outstanding examples of this are ( 1) space which the
Emergency Disaster agency (a part of the Civil Defense organization)
would need to house and feed refugees; and (2) space needed by the
Medical organization for caring for casualties (including first-aid sta-
tions) , pending the time when they could be sent to regular
or evacuated from the city. There may be other cases of this sort in
other agencies.
6. Safeguarding of Documents.
a. Are there any documents, files, drawings. etc. which you would
desire and be able to send at once to a point away from the center
of the city? (Yes or No, no details needed.)
b. If so, have you (actually, today) a suitable place where you could
send them? (Yes or No.)
c. Are there others which you could not send at once, but would
wish to microfilm or otherwise reproduce for that purpose? If
"Yes," would it mean a Jar£e-scale, a medium-scale or a small-
scale job of reproduction?
7. Other Dispusion Preceding an Alert. Are there any offices, shops, or other
key installations or localized activities in central and exposed areas of the city.
which you would move at once to less exposed locations; or, for which you
would prepare, in advance, alternative locations, where the activity could be
set up on short notice following an alert or a bombing? If so, give whatever
details you can, including the new locations if you are prepared to select them
or to make a guess about their location.
S. Protective Construction.
a. Would you at once undertake any protective construction to mini-
mize possible loss of life to your personnel on duty during an
attack, and to minimize possible damage to key installations? If
so, give whatever details you can.
h. Would you need outside assistance (money, men or material) for
the purpose? Specify.
c. Would you need outside guidance as to suitable types of protec-
tive construction? Specify.
NOTE: The foregoing does not apply to anti-sabotage prccautions-, but
primarily to emergency construction designed to give some degree of
protection from bombing or from widespread fires following a bomb-
9. Sabotage.
a. Have you (actually, today) an adequate anti-sabotage plan? (Yes
or No.)
b. If so, would it be available on request to the proper District au-
thorities, for study?
c. Would you need any outside assistance (men, weapons, equipment
or supplies), to put it into full effect? (If confidential, answer at
your discretion.)
10. Supplemental Communications.
a. Would you need to supplement your present communications
(telephone, teletype, fixed or. mobile radio, etc.)? If so, give what-
ever details you can.
h. Would you need outside assistance (money, men, materiel, or .
action by other agencies) fOl'the purpose? Specify.
c. Have you checked any proposed use of radio with the Superin-
tendent of Communications, D. C., to assure yourself tliat it
would fit into the overall Emergency Plan?
11. Passes. Are there any categories of your personnel who should be pro-
vided with passes and identifications, entit1ing them to move freely about the
city during an alert or foJlowing an attack (when normal movement may be
restricted by the police)?
12. ·Publicity.
a. Fpllowing a Declaration of Emergency, is there any information
you would wish to have presented to the public. to make your task
easier or to assist the public? Specify in general terms.
h. Would you wish to utilize commercial radio for the purpose, and
to what extent?
c. Jf the District Commissioners prepared. and periodically issued
by newspaper or radio. "canned releases" to the public, is it likely
that your malerial. or any of it, could best be incorporated in
13. Drills, Etc. Would you need or desire to participate in any city-wide
-dri1ts, "practice runs," etc. (e.g., practice black.outs, practice alerts), and have
you aoy comments or suggestions in this field?
14. Otllcr Communities. \Vould you need ' to coordinate your emergency
activities with those of adjoining cities and communities, and have you any
thoughts about how this could best be accomplished?
15. Other Organizations. Same question, as regards other organizations or
agencies wi/hin the District.
16. EDccl on Normal Activities. Generally speaking, after a Declaration of
Emergency and in the absence of any specifi c alert or warning, would the policy
of your agency be "business as usual." or would there be any important re-
strictions or changes in your nomlat peace-time activities? Give any details
you can.
II. Action to be taken when aft air-raid alert is sounded (assumed to be
a one-hour warning oj a threatened attack)
17. Mobilization of Personnel.
a. What personnel. not on dut y, would be immediately mobilized;
and where? (Included both regular forces and any pre-arranged
b. How would you get word to them to mobilize? (Among the possi-
bil ities are: (1) A radio signal broadcast; (2) Special cans. by
telephone Of other; (3) An advance of what the
personnel would do on hearing an alert.)
18. Mobilization and/or Dispersion 01 Transportation and Mobile Equip-
Same questions as in (17) above. Give consideration to aDY equipment, or
t roup of men, that you would wish to move out from the center of the city
during the period of the "alert," so that they would be safer during a bombing.
and therefore available immediately after a bombing to make Tepairs, restore
s;!fvice, Open alternative centers of activity. or perform other essential tasks.
19. Sabotage. Would you need any immediate strengthening of the anti-
sabotage measures already taken, to allow for the conditions of an air attack?
(If confidential, so state.)
20. Publicity, Is there any information, pe"rtaining to your agency, that you
would wish to have included in any "canned releases" that the Commissioners
would give out to the public during an alert (probably by radio)? Specify.
Ill. Action to be taken following an attack
21. What advance plans would you make, as to what your agency would do
immediately after one or more bombs had been dropped on Washington? Ghe
whatever details you can.
NOTE: There is no way of telling in advance where the bombs might
fall, what damage they might do, or how much of your own force and
installations might be knocked out. You can only guess that the
bombing would most probably be somewhere in the central part of
the city.
IV. Other -Questions
22. Are there any additional assumptions, information or data, which you
have not been given, and which you will need before you can prepare a final
and permanent Emergency Plan?
23. Any comments, criticisms or suggestions on any aspects of the subject
would be welcome, either enlarging on the above items or on other items which
we have overlooked.
Brigadier General, U. S. Army
Engineer Commissioner
There are some questions here which are applicable to
almost all business and even to homes.
In Britain, wardens were laughed at before the bombs fell.
In this country during World War II many people looked on
some wardens as busybodies, officious and largely unnecessary.
When the bombs dropped in Britain, the homes became the
front lines and the warden became the man who knew how
to direct the battIe of the hearthside.
We were not attacked from the air during World War II.
We may be this time. The civil defense director is responsible
for his wardens being properly deployed, being properly
trained and that there are enough of them,
He must, through his city government, make mutual aid
pacts with other cities, secure promises of help from suburbs
and gear what outside help will be available into his plans.
This home army of civilians upon which all of us must de-
pend if and when an A-bomb falls is not purely defensive. If
we are in an all-out war, we will be expecting our armed forces
to be carrying the fight to the enemy. They will depend on us
to keep the supplies coming to them, to protect their loved
ones, to keep democracy alive at home. We must be prepared,
with an efficient defense organization to do that job.
Far to the north in Canada. along the Aleutian chain in
Alaska, on Greenland and Iceland. little teams of men with
strange e1ectronic instruments stand guard in the bitter cold
of winter and the short, mosquito-tormented summer.
They probe the air 150 miles ahead of them, searching con-
stantly for planes winging from Siberia or over the Arctic
Ocean. Above them, and beyond them, fly American and Cana-
dian planes patrolling our northernmost line of defense, con-
o stantly on the alert for the plane that shouldn't be there, the ship
with the Russian accent.
There are three ways an A-bomb can get into position to be
effective against us: 1. by plane or guided missile, 2. by ship,
3. in a suitcase carried by a man.
There are many methods of blocking all three paths of de-
livery. But they all depend on a vital net of communications,
starting far from our borders and ending up in information
centers in your home town.
We have worked out ways of bringing down planes-even
guided missiles-but we must know where they are and we
must know soon enough to be able to do the job.
Far to the north
liHle teams of men with strange electronic instru-
ments stand guard-
Before it was announced that the Russians had the A-bomb
it was fashionable to declare that there was no defense against
this awful weapon, that civilization would go up in flames and
radioactivity if it were ever used. Now that the Russians do
have this weapon, the pendulum has swung and it is fashion-
able to discount the weapon. The truth probably lies some-
where between the two-the A-bomb is dangerous, but there
are things we can do about it.
The first thing our armed forces can do-although not first
in point of time-is to bomb the factories where enemy
A-bombs are made and the factories where bomb carriers are
constructed. That, however, will only come if and when a
shooting war starts with Russia.
In June and July, 1937, two Russian single-engined planes
took off from Moscow. They flew non-stop. One landed at
Vancouver, Washington, and the other near Los Angeles,
setting a new world record for distance. In this same feat,
Russia also learned a great deal about flying over the Arctic
and proved, 13 years ago, that if they want to bomb the United
States, one way to go is via the North Pole.
During World War II, hundreds of planes were picked up
in the United States and Alaska by Russian pilots and ferried
into Siberia and then on to the fighting front against the
common German enemy. In addition, the Russians learned a
great deal about another route to this country.
Russian scientific research in the Arctic, which has been
extensive, also served to prepare the Russian air force for
bombing flights from Soviet bases to this country and return.
But we have not neglected our far northern defense line.
Flights over the North Pole, once the subject of headlines, are
now routine for our Air Force. Cooperating with Canada, we
have established radar stations in many spots on the northern
perimeter. Many of our troops have been trained to operate
efficiently and with deadly effectivness at temperatures below
freezing. Air bases have been constructed in Alaska and North-
ern Canada and planes modified so they can take off from cold
snow-packed runways.
Next to carrying the attack to the enemy, our first line of
defense against bombing attacks is our outermost guard posts,
making a ring around North America through which the Rus-
sians will find it very difficult to slip without detection.
Planes have been modified so they can take off from cold, snow-
packed runways-
Once detected, they must be kept track of. Ground radars,
both on the outer ring and in a net of inner posts, will do
part of that job. And, another World War II development
which has undoubtedly been brought to even greater effi-
ciency, will do the rest. That is the airborne radar.
Fighter planes-jet or conventional-equipped with radar
will seek out the invader planes in the darkest night, through
the heaviest fog. Carrying rockets, small canrion and machine
guns and provided in sufficient quantity at the right time and
place, they will make it hot for any invader.
From the ground, as any bombers which slip through ap-
proach our vital targets, will come the latest in anti-aircraft
fire. Pointing a gun in the dark night at a place where a plane
will be by the time the projectile gets high enough to hit it
has become not a thing that man does, but only a thing that
man sets going. Remarkable machines have taken over the
__ .::::oJ
From the ground will come the latest in fire-
job. And it happens much much quicker than you can say
"Jack Robinson."
The things the large anti-aircraft guns shoot at the planes
have changed too. Projectiles which change course in mid-air
as their targets change course, projectiles which burst when
they come a specified distance away from their targets-
through use of a proximity fuse-projectiles with new, more
dangerous explosives will be shot at the invading planes.
We are helped with these projects by the fact that the Rus-
sian planes, if and when they come, must come far. Plane
designers must sacrifice speed to distance, or distance to speed;
they cannot set two new world records with one plane.
During World War II most of our great cities were provided
with a great network of search1ights to seek Qut and illuminate
enemy planes. On fine nights we would see them practicing,
pinpointing our planes high in the sky. Searchlights will be a
thing of the past. At the start of the last war, radar was used
to supplement searchlights, was even used to help point the
'searchlights-now radar is all the illumination we need.
Planes can come from submarines which travel close in to
our shores. How far into the future this is-for any great
quantities of planes-isn't known. But there, the enemy, if
he should decide to use this combination, faces not only our
radar net once the plane is launched, but also the complicated
anti-submarine measures of our navy.
I! is not known what anyone can do about pilotless guided
missiles which come from thousands of miles away-but, in-
sofar as weknow, they have not yet been developed to a point
where anyone is getting serious about devising defenses against
them. I! is an old rule of war that every weapon eventually
produces its answer.
Planes can come from submarines which travel dose in to shore--
Fighter planes do not fly at the whim of the pilot, nor are
guns shot off when the crews themselves decide they can do the
most good. An elaborate network of communications wiII suck
up all the information from our radar, digest it for our air
defense commanders and transmit their orders to our planes
and our guns. ,
In every possible target city there wiII be information centers
operating 24 hours a day. Some have already been set up, some
are on a stand·by basis. They will be connected with regional
information centers and with each other. It is from these cen-
The paths of approaching enemy planes will be plotted on huge
table _mops-
ters that the air defense of our cities will be directed. The
paths of approaching enemy planes and our own fighters will
be plotted-perhaps electronically and automatically from
radar information-on huge table maps. Air defense officers
and all their liaison officers from other services will actually
be able to watch the course of action on these table maps,
almost as if they were watching a television screen. They will
have under instant control all the forces necessary to fight off
the enemy and, during combat, they will be in constant com-
munication with our pilots, our radars and our gun crews.
One of the liaison officers assigned to an information center
will be a civil defense official. From the air defense officer and
from the table map, he will know when to alert a city, when
to mobilize his forces against possible falling bombs.
Working in these nerve centers and manning the communi-
cations lines which keep them alive will be thousands of civilian
volunteers. Thousands worked in similar places during the
last war. If and when an A-bomb falls, it wlll not be merely a
matter of tracking friendly planes and taking part in practice
exercises as it was the last time. It will be the real thing-for
the military forces and the civilians alike.
The control, supervision and inspection of ships entering
our harbors have already been put into operation and will be
tightened up even further if world tension increases. Discovery
of an. A-bomb before it goes off is difficult. They can be small
-much smaller than the early models dropped on Nagasaki
and Hiroshima. A Geiger counter or other radiation detector
is no good.
But thorough inspection will still do the job. After all, an
A-bomb is nothing you can hide in your hat. In addition, while
one or two A-bomb carrying ships might get into one or two
A-bombs may be carried in over a land horder in a suitcase-
ports without discovery, it would be hard to imagine a fleet
of ships carrying enough bombs to make a difference in our
industrial potential doing the trick.
The same principles hold true with the third method of
bringing A-bombs into our country--carrying them over a
land border in a suitcase. Customs inspections, border patrols
already operating at reinforced levels will prevent most from
getting through if the enemy should try this method.
It is important to realize that , while our defenses around
our borders may be as tight as we can get them, while our
weapons are up to date and our men eager, alert and well
trained, if a determined A-bomb attack comes, we will not be
able to prevent all the bombs from getting through.
A determined A-bomb attack will be one mounted in great
force. Large numbers of planes, bearing large numbers of
bombs and directed at many targets will come at once. The
enemy will calculate whether he will lose too many of the
precious and very expensive A-bombs before they reach their
targets to make such an attack worth while. He will estimate
the effectiveness of our radar, our guns and our planes. Then,
calculating what percentage of A-bombs might get through
to their targets, he will estimate the effectiveness of our civil
defense measures in getting our cities back on their feet again.
If he thinks the game will not be worth the candles- and
these are most expensive candles-he won't come.
You are standing on an open, shadowless plain beneath a
sun suddenly come close to the earth. From the searing sky,
invisible bullets speed at you. Some are small, some large, yet
all are so tiny you can neither see nor feel them when they
strike. They leave no bullet holes, yet inside your body they
are tearing apart the substance of muscle and bone marrow,
exploding the individual cells of your blood, leaving a trail of
devastation through solid tissue.
There is an igloo near you made of stone. You crawl inside.
The terrible heat is gone. But the stone walls are only a foot
thick. They cannot stop the invisible bullets. Still they come,
and there is no escape. You die a horrible, frightening death.
This is sheer nightmare of the imagination. It is so much
bunk. Ever since science unlocked the atom's power, alarmists
have been screaming, "The Geigers will get you if you don't
watch out!" The public has been bombarded with graphic
descriptions of entire cities suddenly left echoing wastelands,
of water supplies contaminated with invisible death, of men
in gas masks and lead-lined suits moving slowly through an
undamaged town waving the mysterious antenna of radiation
counters. The nameless, gnawing fear which came to the world
with the first atomic bomb is largely based upon this bogey-
Radiation. The bomb brought the greatest explosive blast that
man has yet devised. It brought heat which etches shadows
into granite. But these were familiar dangers, forces which had
been released for centuries by ordinary bombs on a far smaller
scale. The unknown, the new hazard to human life, was radi-
ation. And fear walks the pathways of the unknown.
Actually, you have been exposed to constant radiation since
the day you were born. From outer space, particles of energy
called cosmic rays are constantly bombarding the atmosphere.
Some get through to the earth's snrface. They pass through
the walls of your home, through the top of your car, and into
your body. You can hear these rays with a Geiger counter. The
slow, unsteady clicking of the instrument is the sound made by
cosmic rays. Atomic parlance calls it background radiation.
You have been exposed to constant radiation 5 j n ~ e the day you
were born-
You are also barraged to a lesser extent by radioactivity
from the earth beneath you. There are metals in the earth's
crust, such as uranium or radium or thorium, which occur
partly in radioactive form. These "isotopes" are unbalanced in
the way they are built. Thus they are constantly changing,
shaking themselves down to different forms of the same ele-
ment, or to completely different elements. Sometimes they go
through several transformations, until the end product is a
material at balance with nature, a stable element. For example,
uranium in the earth changes to radium, then to a gas called
radon, and finally, after many thousands of years, to ordinary
lead. This process goes on wherever uranium occurs in the
earth, locked in rock in minute amounts.
When miners dig this ore from the earth, and engineers
laboriously separate the uranium, and physicists carefully
bring larger and larger amounts of it together, the decomposi-
tion process can be speeded up. When the amount of the
unstable type of uranium or plutonium passes what is known
as the "critical mass," the coming apart process flashes through
the individual atoms in a chain reaction, and there is an atomic
explosion. What takes thousands of years in nature is made to
happen in a millionth of a second in the bomb.
In whatever way this magic transformation occurs, there
are thrown off tiny particles, together with rays of electrical
energy, which account for the change in weight of the original
unstable atoms. Even on this smallest of all scales, the funda-
mental law of conservation still works. Nothing is ever lost in
this world.
Radioactivity is like a dog shaking itself after being in the
water. The dog is wet and doesn't like it. He is "unstable"; so
he shakes. The drops of water fly into the air. The dog is drier
and thus happier. But that does not mean the extra water has
disappeared. It is there on the ground.
Radiation is the rain of particles and energy from an atom
shaking itself or being shaken by man. It comes in small drops
~ - - ~ -
Radioactivity is like a dog shaking itself after being in the water-
and in larger drops and in the units of energy called photons.
Ordinary light is made up of photon rays. So are X-rays.
Each individual particle or ray is indescribably small. Mov-
ing out from an atom, they can pass through air, whose mole-
cules are far apart; through water, whose molecules are closer
together; through steel or concrete or lead, whose molecules
are closely crowded. Some of the particles can travel farther
through these various meshes than others. Some can bounce
off obstacles and keep going. Some will be stopped almost
immediately. Fire a shotgun through a room full of medicine
balls hung from the ceiling. Some of the pellets will get through.
Throw a basketball through the same room. Chances are it
won't go very far. The same happens to atomic particles.
When an atomic bomb explodes, there is a tremendous
initial burst of radiation - that is, nuclear radiation as differ-
entiated from the radiation of pure heat. After the explosion
there is residual radiation. This is caused by the fission
products of the bomb which fall to earth, and by the materials,
dirt or water or steel, which were close enough to the bomb's
explosion to be made radioactive by the initial radiation.
Whereas the initial blast of radiation is over in a few seconds,
the residual radioactivity may linger on for hours or days or
hundreds of years.
Different types of atomic bullets are sent off in the A-bomb's
colossal blast. There are four kinds of radiation which are a
hazard to human health if received in large enough amounts.
1. Alpha-Relatively heavy particles made up of two
protons, each having one positive charge, and two neutrons,
which have no charge. Alpha particles are so big they are
like the basketball thrown into a room full of medicine balls.
They are stopped in air in less than two inches. They can go
only an infinitesimal distance in water. They are stopped cold
by light cotton clothing, and may not even pierce the skin.
If radioactive dust giving off alpha particles is inhaled or
eaten with food, however, it may have grave effects within the
Residual radioactivity may linger on for days or years-
body. If enough is absorbed in the system, alpha emitters can
kill. Materials which give off alpha particles include uranium
and plutonium. When an atom bomb explodes, most of the ura-
nium or plutonium atoms do not break apart, but fall to earth.
Poisoning by them is possible, but far from likely unless an
enemy sows them deliberately.
2. Beta-Electrons moving at high speed. Because elec-
trons are extremely light in comparison to alpha particles,
they bounce off atoms and molecules in their path very eas-
ily. They thus have little effective penetrating power, even
in the air. Those shot off from an atomic burst are not con-
sidered dangerous in themselves. But beta radiation is created
by other forms of radiation striking stable atoms. If those
atoms are within the body, beta will contribute to the over-all
radiation injury.
ra(lia:fio(l, lelt to right, Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and
3. Gamma-Ultra short waves of pure electro-magnetic
energy, made up of photons. The atomic bomb emits these
rays at great energies. They are extremely penetrating, and
travel farthest from the point of burst of any form of radia-
tion. They move in a straight line and can give an unpro-
tected person a lethal dose at 4,200 feet. Protection from
t11em, at 3,000 feet from the burst of a nominal atomic bomb
(20,000 tons of TNT), is a matter of four inches of solid
steel or 12 inches of concrete. They can go right through the
human body, and leave a path of injnred cells behind them.
4. Neutrons-Particles from the atom's center which
carry no electrical charge, but which are 1800 times the size
of electrons. A great burst of neutrons accompanies atomic
fission. Like gamma rays, they can penetrate air for consid-
erable distances and are a menace to the human body. They
are the other major radiation hazard of the atomic bomb.
Neutrons are sub;ect to elastic scattering-
Unlike gamma radiation (which are rays rather than par·
ticles) neutrons bounce off the molecules of the air, water or
solid matter through which they pass. Thus they follow a tor-
tuous path through the atmosphere--what physicists call
"elastic scattering"-and can come at you from any direc-
tion. Any sort of shield against radiation within the lethal
range of neutrons-about 2,400 feet for a nominal bomb
-must protect you from the rear as well as in the direction
facing the bomb's burst.
Neutrons are released when an atom breaks apart. They
are the bullets which produce a chain reaction.
Once set free, when they collide with atoms of stable mate-
rials they knock off electrons, producing beta radiation. They
also can agitate the atoms so that gamma rays are shot off.
Or they may be absorbed completely by atoms they strike.
In that event. the atoms become radioactive. This is what is
meant by induced radioactivity. It happens to a small extent
in an atomic burst in the air, and to a much greater extent
when the bomb is set off underwater or near the ground. If
the neutrons are moving at high enough energies, they can
completely split an atom they hit, causing fission. The un-
founded fear that neutrons might split the atoms of the air
or the sea was the basis for the dire predictions of some
scientists that an atomic chain explosion would blow up the
world from a single bomb. This has been shown to be non-
sense. Chain fission happens only under artificial, extremely
unstable conditions imposed by man.
It is upon the amount of residual radioactivity that the real
radiation danger of an atomic explosion is largely judged. This
is not to say that you cannot receive a lethal dose from the
first flash of the bomb. But if you are within radiation's death
circle, it is almost certain that you will also be injured or killed
outright by the blast wave or the heat of the bomb, falling
buildings or burning rubble. Another way of putting it: If.
after an atomic bomb bursts, you can dust yourself off and
walk away, there is not much chance of your having absorbed
a deadly dose of radiation.
((}? \
I . uno ~
~ . ~ ~ v p ~
. ; t 5 . ~
If you can dust yourself off and walk away, there is nof much chance
of your having absorbed a deadly dose of radiation-
An A-bomb burst at 2,000 feet in the air is believed to do
the greatest physical damage to a target. At this height, blast
is free to act over the widest area. But the height also means
that there will be relatively little radioactivity induced on
the ground, and the "hot" fission products of the bomb will
be scattered over a wide area. Atomic Energy Commission
scientists and Defense Department officers say there is little
to fear from left-over radioactivity following an air burst.
It is in an atomic explosion underwater or under the ground
that residual radioactivity might assume serious proportions.
Then the water or the earth surrounding the giant burst of
neutrons is made intensely radioactive. It is thrown high in
the air for the wind to scatter, covering the surrounding area
with a tbin layer of material which will produce dangerous
amounts of radiation for days or even months. Radiation men
will have to move in with their black boxes, and entire city
populations may have to be evacuated for a time, fleeing an
invisible menace which no one can see.
Radioactivity is a dangerous aftermath of an A-bomb ex-
p o s i o n . The explosion itself can produce radioactivity in
common materials close to the point of explosion, and an
underwater blast would drench relatively large areas with
dangerous spray and vapor. The atmosphere would be con-
taminated witb debris of the A-bomb.
This sort of radioactivity would be dangerous enough, but
there is a possibility that an invisible radioactive "dust sand"
could spread over cities of the earth and kill their populations
with radioactivity without the noisy warning of an A-bomb.
There has been less discussion about this specter of radio-
active poisons than about the A-bomb itself. The famous
Smyth Report of 1945 contained a brief reviewing paragraph
on the danger. In 1948 an Austrian by the name of Dr. Hans
Thirring discussed the danger. Official documents in 1950
alerted tbe American people witb considerable brevity. The
Atomic Energy Commission has reported tbat studies on the
feasibility of radiological substances as a metbod of warfare
are being continued. The official designation of this type of
weapon is RW, standing for radiological weapon. Ex-Secre-
tary of Defense, Louis Johnson, reported the possibility of
RW as an outgrowth of atomic energy applications for na·
tional defense. He warned in an official report that every atom-
ic pile of suitable size, irrespective of its design or purpose, is
a potential source of a significant quantity of RW agents.
He told the American people that RW weapons could be
made available in another country whether or not they pro-
duced an atomic bomb.
Obviously, RW is at present a "mystery weapon" to the
dangers of which American officials are alert.
What would be done to prepare to use RWwould be to
collect the debris of smashed uranium atoms from atomic
furnaces in which fissionable material is being burned. About
a dozen of these products would be useful in warfare. These
emit beta rays (electrons) or gamma rays of substantial en·
ergy, and half of their substance would be disintegrated in
periods from about a week to a year.
Very fine sand cooted with radioactive poisons could be spread
thinly over the area-
Very fine sand would be coated with these radioactive poi-
sons and spread very thinly over the area where it is desired
to wipe out life.
The person in a poisoned area has no way of knowing that
he is in danger either by the evidence of his senses or by any
unsophisticated tests. He may receive a lethal dose of radia-
tion before he knows that he is cndangered, and yet a few days
later he may die. Radioactivity detectors would tell of the
danger. If a person is aware of the danger he may survive if
he flees the area at once with a dampened handkerchief over
his nose and mouth. Walls of a sturdy building or even heavy
clothing would lower exposure risk, but half an hour of
breathing of dust stirred up by passing winds would give a
fatal internal dose.
Radioactive "death sand" because of its novel and unique
properties may be useful in special situations, but its proper
use in war would be very difficult.
The "death sand" is prepared by drying fission product salt
solutions on sand or metal powder. It is described as the light-
est and most transportable of all the weapons of mass destruc-
tion. A highly deadly layer on the surface of the ground would
weigh almost nothing and would be quite invisible.
Enough radioactive fission products are produced each
month at the Hanford, Wash., plant to contaminate 144
square miles, or more than six times the area of Manhattan.
It is not considered now too practical to separate the prod-
ucts of the atomic pile needed in radiological warfare.
With the development of the hydrogen superbomb, a great-
er radioactivity danger to the world would be imminent.
Radioactivity from superbombs could completely destroy
life on a whole continental area. That is one of the threats
of the hydrogen bomb to our civilization. The complete de-
struction of a large city by one H-bomb is appaling enough.
But experts see even grimmer possibilities in the radioactivity
that can be produced by the superbombs.
Radioactive materials in great amount could be flung into
the atmosphere if the conditions of the explosion of the hydro-
gen bomb were carefuIIy selected. ActuaIIy the effects of neu-
trons and hard gamma radiation (X-rays) from a hydrogen
bomb would not extend much father from the blast center than
they would in the case of an atomic or fission bomb.
The debris of a hydrogen bomb would not be much more
radioactive than remains of the uranium or plutonium bomb
set off within it to trigger it. But a great blast of neutrons and
other radiation would be produced, extremely intense within
Explode a series of H-bombs ;n the Pacific and radioactive winds
could carry devastation across continental United States-
the explosion area. This radiation could be used to create
radioactive poison contaminants of the atmosphere in large
quantity. For many miles away from the blast and damage
area fine particles of what amounts to "artifiCial radium"
would fill the air and be transported on every wind, sickening
man, beast and plants alike and wiping them out.
Explode a series of H·bombs in the Pacific and radioactive
winds would carry devastation across continental United
States. Lay down bombs along the line of the iron curtain and
death would sweep over the U.S.S.R.
The marvelous development of artificial radioactive iso-
topes, so useful in medical, biological and industrial research,
tells how hydrogen and atomic bombs can be used for such
poisonous, radioactive warfare.
Around the bomb materials, or mixed in with them, would
be placed large quantities of elements that would be trans-
formed by neutrons into intensely radioactive substances.
Everyone knows what some of these might be. Use cobalt
metal and the air will be filled with the radium substitute now
being used extensively in hospitals for irradiating cancers. This
radiocobalt lasts a relatively long time, since only half of it is
radiated away in five years. The debris of a cobalt-reinforced
hydrogen bomb would persist for years, and its deadly dust
would be carried around the earth by the atmospheric circula-
tion, just as the dust of the explosion of Krakatau volcano in
1883 reddened sunsets of the world for years afterwards.
There are much shorter-lived radiosotopes, such as radio-
iodine, made in the atomic reactors by neutron bombardment.
Iodine's radiations wear out much faster, since its half-life is
only 13 days, but it is very intense at first. To an enemy popu-
lation it would be a dangerous dose. It would bombard every-
thing in the same way that, medically, it is now used to destroy
and reduce the activity of the thyroid gland when it is over-
active or cancerous.
Other artificially radioactive substances could be created
in the hydrogen bomb blast. Some of them undoubtedly would
be most effective for warfare.
Would our nation use such radioactive warfare? Would a
potential enemy launch this new and insidious attack, just as
the Germans started gas warfare in the First World War?
Against such radioactive poisons there seems to be little
chance of real protection. It might wipe out life on the earth.
Crops, animals, and all other living things would be affected.
A fortunate few might be able to survive the attack by wear-
ing protective clothing and masks to filter out the radioactive
Against such radioactive pOISO.OS
real protection-
These are realities of the atomic dilemma that faces the
world. In other nations, people and officials are asking the
same questions with the same indecision and gnawing fear,
so far as they are allowed to know the facts.
Before it kills, carbon monoxide makes you drowsy. A phy-
sical wound breaks the skin and tears the flesh; pain answers
in indignation and blood points to the wound. Fire sends heat
ahead of it to lick at the surface of the body, and the nerves
scream their alarm of danger. But against radiation, man's
body has no natural defense nor even a warning system. Radia-
tion can do irreparable harm, yet there is no sixth sense to
tell you that it is striking. You can neither see, feel, taste,
smell nor touch it.
tor,eto,ld by ingenious instruments-
How then are victims or potential victims of radiation to
know whence or when the danger comes? The answer lies in
a number of ingenious instruments which science is already
using, and in others, still on the drawing boards, which may
someday be an essential item in your own home. If atomic
attack came tomorrow however. the real answer is that victims
probably would not know. They would have to be told by fast-
moving crews of radiation monitors using the complex instru-
ments now available. These are man's artificial sixth, seventh
and eighth senses.
Radioactivity has become synonymous in the public mind
with the long-famous Geiger-MUller counter. Yet this elec-
tronic gadget is neither the oldest nor the most important of
the indicators which now measure the atom's energy.
Radioactivity in general, and the X-ray in particular, were
both discovered by the effect radiation has on photographic
film. The chemicals in photographic emulsion are sensitive to
electrically charged particles as well as to electromagnetic
rays such as light. Thus fibn can be used to show - after it
has happened - that radiation has struck. When the film is
developed and evaluated by men trained in the art, blacken-
ing and fogging will give a rough measure of the amount of
radiation which has fallen.
Radiation creates a path of electrically disturbed atoms in
air through which it passes. These disturbed particles, called
ions, will act as the cores for tiny droplets of water, if the air
has a high enough water vapor content. One of the earliest
ways found to detect radiation was in a container of super-
humid air. The track of atomic particles passing through the
chamber is clearly visible in thin streaks of fog. These atomic
vapor trails were first observed in 1912, and have been widely
used since then in the study of cosmic rays. But for measuring
large amounts, the Wilson cloud chamber is not practical.
If ionization of air occurs between two poles bearing oppo-
site charges of static electricity, a current will flow betweep"
the poles. As more and more ions are produced the charge
across the gap will diminish. This drop in static charge may
be measured, and is in turn a measure of the amount of radia-
tion which has passed between the electrodes. An instrument
of this type is known as an ionization chamber.
Simple and rugged devices built on this principle are now
in use in American nuclear laboratories and atom bomb fac-
tories. Workers carry a tube similar to a fountain pen in size
and shape. An even newer type is a capsule worn on the lapel.
At the end of the day, these are collected and their electrical
charges measured on an electrical indicator. The dose of
radiation to which the worker has been exposed during the
day can thus be determined. Like the strips of photographic
film which the workers in AEC plants also carry, however,
these detectors tell only of radiation already received.
An even newer type of detection instrument is a capsule worn on
the /ape/-
If a super-thin piece of gold leaf or metal-coated quartz
fiber is attached to one of the electrodes in the ionization
chamber, it gives a visual indication of the electrical charge
by bending away from the electrode. Thus, by putting a scale
into the instrument, a self-reading "dosemeter" is obtained.
The rate at which the fiber moves is a measure of the rate of
radiation. This principle is used in another pocket detector
like the fountain pen and in large instruments used to check
wide areas where radioactivity is suspected.
If a battery is connected to the electrodes, the amount of
current which flows through the circuit will show how fast
the charge on the electrodes is being dissipated by radiation.
This current is extremely small, but it can be boosted by
vacuum tubes. A dial reading can be obtained which will show
the rate of incoming radiation.
If certain gases are used instead of air, and high voltages
are used, a single radiation produces more ionization. Pulses
of current result, which can be easily measured. This is the
principle of devices known as proportional counters, which
are widely used for measuring contamination on hands or
clothing, tables and other surfaces. They will be extremely
valuable in checking residual radioactivity after an atomic
bomb explosion, or in the event of radiological poisoning.
The familiar "click-click-click" of the Geiger counter is the
warning rattle of the atom. Each click is a pulse of ionization
caused by an individual particle or unit of radiation. Because
this famed instrument can pick up even a single ray, and is
easily portable, it is the instrument which will probably give
the first signs that radiation is present in an atomic attack.
Actually, the Geiger counter is nothing more than a stepped-
np ionization chamber. Its heart is a glass or metal tube with
a wire running through it lengthwise. The tube contains gas
at low pressure. High voltage is applied to establish a strong
electrical field between the wire and the tube. The voltage is
snch that the gas is just about ready to "break down." This
delicate electrical balance is broken by a ray penetrating the
walls of the tube. The ray rips apart the atoms of the gas,
producing free electrons. The electrons rush to the central
wire and a click, or pulse, results in the listener's earphones.
Geiger counters will be the unsleeping mechanical police-
men of the atomic age. They can tell when any radioactive
material is in the vicinity, and give \a rough indication of the
strength of its radiation. But they require large amounts of
power. They do not differentiate. normally. between the var-
ious types of radiation. They count beta particles with much
more efficiency than gamma rays, and alpha particles only if
the counter is equipped with a very delicate "window."
The Geiger counter will be used by monitoring crews to
track down radiation, but other instruments will be necessary
to tell the exact hazards to health of radioactive poisons or
by-products of the bomb.
The Geiger counter is easily portable-
When radiation strikes certain types of crystals, the struc-
ture of the crystals becomes electrically excited. The crystals
fluoresce - that is, they give off light. The amount of light
released is very small, but it may be focussed on a light-sensi-
tive electron tube and thus measured. This type of instrument,
called a scintillation counter, has been used mainly in the
laboratory to study radiation. But a portable counter is now
being developed at Brookhaven National Laboratory which
scientists think will be able to measure gamma rays in places
where the radiation is so strong other instruments break down.
A simple, sturdy radiation meter-
For any nation-wide program of defense against atomic
weapons, tens or hundreds of thousands of detection instru-
meats will be needed. They must be simple to operate, rugged
and They must be inexpensive and widely distrib-
uted. Since the fall of 1949, Atomic Energy Commission scien-
tists have been working at top speed to find instruments which
meet these specifications.
At Oak Ridge, Tenn., AEC instrument specialiSI6 are work-
ing on a simple sturdy meter which is the size of a package of
cigarettes. Based on the ionization chamber principle, it will
measure the dose of radiation its owner is receiving at any
time, and thus will offer ample warning if a particular area is
"hat." A similar radiation meter has been invented by-a father-
and-son scientific team at California Institute of Technology,
Drs. Charles C. Lauritsen and Thomas Lauritsen. Their device
can be either cigarette-package size or small enough to be worn
on the wrist like a watch. Unfortunately, neither of these de-
vices are yet being made for general use.
Although only barest mention of its existence has been
made, the Navy has a sort of "atomic dog-tag" to identify ra-
diation victims. Like photographic film, this metal tag is treated
chemically so that it will react to radiation. When a fatal dose
has been received, the dog-tag shows it by turning blue. It will
be of little help to a potential victim during the time radiation
is at work. But for doctors working in an atomic disaster area
it would be a valuable guide. They wouldn't waste time in
trying to save those whose dog-tags were bright blue. but
would concentrate on those whose tags were near-white or only
pale blue.
Of potential use to the man-in-the-street is another form of
chemical radiation indicator now under development at the
University of California at Los Angeles. This consists of a
series of tiny vials containing liquids whose colors change
when radiation hits. Each of the vials or capsules changes col-
or at a different dosage level. They may be worn hung from
the neck in a plastic case the size of a packet of paper matches,
or carried in the pocket in a pencil-like container. A glance
would tell an individual if he receives radiation, and how much.
A chemical detector no than a book of matches-
As is only too apparent to the officials planning atomic de-
fense, these instruments and detectors for the home and the
private citizen are all still Hunder development," or "being
studied" or "recently invented." The atomic alarm, if. such
must ever be sounded, must be given by trained radiation
monitors using the best equipment at hand: the Geiger count-
er, the proportional counter, the ionization chamber and photo-
graphic films.
Theirs will be a large part of the job of averting panic, for
only by quick and accurate information on the extent of radio-
activity in an attacked area will a general stampede of the un-
injured to parts elsewhere be averted. Decontamination crews
will be guided by "Geiger men" when the clean-up begins.
Doctors will rely on their instruments in deciding whether or
not a leg must be amputated because of invisible contamina-
tion in a cut on the toe. The food you eat may be "cleared"
by a radiation monitor; certainly the city water you drink will
be carefully checked.
These were the conditions automatically imposed on the
world the day the first atomic pile began operating in a Uni-
versity of Chicago squash court. For with the harnessing of
atomic energy came an entirely new form of possible injury
to the human body-injury which you cannot see or feel, in-
jury which comes from invisible sources, iujury which will
kill you if enough is received-kill you just as dead as a steel-
jacketed bullet.
At Bikini they tried first to wash away the radioactivity.
Fire hoses flushed the battered wrecks of ships with sea water.
Steel superstructures frothed with soapsuds. Squads of sailors
-led by monitors of the radiological safety section-sweated
hours and then days holystoning the wooden decks of battle-
ships and cruisers. Back and forth with sandstone bricks, rub-
bing until the decks gleamed white in the sun. The sailors
could see no poison on those decks. But each time they finished
rubbing, the Geiger man would shake his head, and the work
would start again.
Then a scientist took a small block of the wood into the
laboratory. He found that nearly a quarter of an inch had to
be shaved away with a plane-the entire top surface of the
deck skinned off-before the Geiger counters would be quiet.
Weeks after the "Baker" test, the underwater blast, a sailor
was working on a rusting, twisted landing craft on the atoll
beach. One hand slipped while he was hauling at a steel cable,
and a small cut appeared between thumb and forefinger.
Taken to sick bay on the radiological ship, the white-faced
seaman waited while delicate tests were made on the open
tissues of the wound. If contamination by the invisible pcison
of atomic fission were found, his arm would have to come off
at the shoulder. High amputation was a hard-and-fast rule in
the Manhattan District project for such cases. This cut was
little more than a scratch-but the cable had been checked
and found to be still radioactive .
. " .".-
-- .
Ne·arllv a quarter an inch of wood must be shaved away to re-
move confam;naf;on-
The cut was free of contamination, luckily. The sailor went
his way with merely a small bandage on his hand. But the
incident went down in the terrifying record written by Atomic
Bomb No.5-the first to be exploded under water, not high
in the air, and the first to leave man faced squarely with the
silent specter of radiological poisoning. In the underwater
burst, radioactivity touched the target ships and remained. It
patrolled the decks with an invisible barrier which men could
cross, but only for a given length of time; then the men had
to leave. The ships of the target fleet swung at anchor, silent
and deserted. No one knew quite what to do with them.
The ships of the target fleet swung at anchor, silent and deserted-
Radiation dosage is measured in terms of the roentgen or
"r" named for Wilhelm Roentgen, the German physicist who
discovered X-rays in 1895. It is usually accepted that a dose
of 400 r of radiation received over the entire body in a few
minutes is a "median lethal dose"-that is, it would be fatal to
about 50 percent of human beings who received it. In radio-
activity left behind after an atomic bomb explosion, however,
or deposited in radiological attack, the problem of radiation
is quite different from a "one-shot" dose. While a human being
would have only a 50-50 chance of survival if he received
400 r of radiation all at once, the same amount of radiation
spread over a period of a month would he far less dangerous.
The Independence was towed back to San Francisco-
Residual radiation from an atomic blast must be measured
not only in terms of how strong it is at anyone time-the
dosage rate-but also the total amount of radiation received
over a given length of time. In 1936 the U.S. Committee on
X-rays and Radium Protection set the figure of 0.1 r per day as
the maximum dose a human could receive over the whole
body, day after day, without suffering permanent harm. To
give an even greater margin of safety, the Atomic Energy
Commission later lowered this maximum al10wable dose to
0.3 r per week for workers in U.S. atomic plants and labora-
tories. This was the figure used in handling the ships at Bikini
after the Crossroads tests.
The V.S.s. Independence, a small aircraft carrier, received .
such a large dose of radiation from the "Baker" blast that it
would have killed any crew members who might have been
on the hangar deck. Two weeks after the blast the radioactivity
of the ship had dropped to about 3 r per day. That meant de-
contamination squads could go aboard for short periods of
time-perhaps 20 minutes a day for anyone man. A long year
later, the Independence having meantime been towed back to
San Francisco, the average dosage rate was down to 0.3 r per
day-still seven times the limit for full-time occupancy.
No decontamination was attempted on the Independence.
The carrier was too battered ever to be used as a fighting ship
again. But on other ships new knowledge of decontamination
began to be accumulated, through the long, arduous process
of trial and error. Some of the ships were decontaminated and
put back into use, while the Independence her moorings
in San Francisco, still "hot" with radiation.
There are three courses open when an object is radioactive,
whether it be a ship, a building or a heap of waste from a
nuclear reactor: 1. bury it deep in the ground or jettison it
at sea; 2. isolate it until the radiation level drops below the
danger limit; or 3. decontaminate it.
Three courses are open when an object ;s rocJioactive--
Decontamination means, to a large degree, stripping away
the radioactive surface, cleaning it either by chemical means
or physical means. There are exceptions to this. of course:
When a radioactive solution has soaked into a porous surface
such as rope, cloth, unpainted wood, brick or stucco; when
, neutrons have set up radioactivity deep within the Object; or
when a reservoir of drinking water is contaminated.
If chemicals are to be used to clean a "hot" surface, the
nature of the radioactive materials must be known. When
uranium 235 fissions, as in an atomic bomb, nearly 200 radio-
active products, isotopes of some 34 different elements, may
be present. The chemistry of identifying these poisons is an
intricate business. It is further complicated by the fact that
a chemical reaction will not eliminate the radiation. It will
merely turn the contaminating agent into a new form which
can be flushed away. Something has to be done with the drain-
water, after that.
But much was learned at Bikini about chemical decontam-
ination. Compounds based on certain organic acids, such as
ordinary citric acid, were found to be important agents for
general decontamination. Detergents, the new synthetic soaps,
were very useful. Even stronger alkalis were used in removing
entire contaminated layers of paint. Acid solutions helped dis-
solve rust and scale.
Blasting with wet sand or high-pressure steam containing
a detergent was used to good effect at Bikini and later. The
wide range of physical decontamination methods included
vacuum cleaning and light brushing to remove lightly held
material, and use of a blowtorch to burn away entire coatings
of paint. Adhesive coatings of various types were tried. These
could be stripped away carrying radioactive materials with
them. Special plastic paints which could he easily removed
in case of contamination have even been considered by scien-
tists as a means of minimizing the residual radioactivity after
an atomic poisoning.
Acids, detergents, and alkalis will remove confaminafion-
There are a number of things you can and should do in
your own home after an atomic bombing, to reduce danger
of radioactive contamination.
Your clothing will normally prevent radioactive residue
from the bomb from reaching your skin. If there is any chance
that your clothing is "hot,"' take off the outer layer and bury
it. Do this before going into a building, such as your own
home, for there may he no contamination inside the house-
until you unwittingly carry it indoors.
Radioactive substances which come in contact with the skin
'may be more dangerous than a detecting instrument held an
inch away would show. You should carefully cleanse any ex-
If there is any chance that your clothing is "hot" take off the outer
layer and bury il-
posed parts of your body. Vigorous scrubbing with soap and
water will accomplish a remarkable amount of decontamina-
tion. Pay particular attention to the hair, nails, skin folds and
areas surrounding body openings. Be careful not to rub so
hard that you break the skin, however. If soap and water does
not remove the radioactivity, as shown on an instrument, a
dilute solution of sodium bicarbonate may be used. This is
particularly useful for rinsing mucous membranes, such as
the mouth and nasal passages.
In a dire emergency, any clean uncontaminated material
at hand, such as grass, paper, straw, leaves or sand, will re-
move radioactivity from the skin if rubbed on vigorously.
These might be used, for example, if you were covered with
water or soil thrown into the air by an atomic explosion.
Again, do not tear the skin or force loosened material into
wounds, body openings or skin folds.
For cleaning household objects, almost any method would
be helpful. Cleaning and scouring compounds, grease remov-
ers, detergents, paint cleaners, dry cleaning liquids, gasoline,
etc., will help to remove radioactive particles from surfaces.
Be careful not to spread or rub in the radioactive materials,
however. The cloths use should be buried rather than
burned, for ra(lio;.ctivilty would be carried off in smoke.
Vigorous scrubbing with soap and water will
able amount of decontaminotion-
a remark-
While you are doing these things, the decontamination of
vital areas of your city would begin. Crews would flush the
streets with water, perhaps with the aid of detergents. Brush-
ing or vacuum sweeping of outdoor areas might even be tried
first, if feasible. Remember that there is no known way to
neutralize radioactivity. Decontamination only transfers it
from one place to another. Proper disposal of the "hot"
material must be provided, carrying or flushing it to a place
where it will not constitute a hazard.
Scrubbing the sidewalks and flushing the streets would be helpful-
One of the first steps in complete decontamination would
be removal of the industrial film of grease and dirt which
usually covers exposed surfaces, especially in cities. Radio-
activity seems to attach itself strongly to such a film. Ordinary
soap and water, detergents or live steam are among possible
ways the film may be removed. In this initial work, decon-
tamination crews would seem like men from Mars. They would
have to wear protective clothing, such as rubber suits, boots
and gloves. If spray or dust is involved, goggles and respira-
tion masks must be worn. Sandblasting and strong chemicals
would be used to remove the entire top surface from the out-
sides of important buildings. Other structures, where decon-
tamination might be too costly, or the radioactivity too high,
would have to be dismantled, carried away and buried.
In soil, the radioactivity would be held in the uppermost
few inches. The top surface of parks and lawns in a contam-
inated city would thus have to be either removed or covered
with at least a foot of fresh earth. This could perhaps be done
by turning the soil over, so that lower uncontaminated layers
covered the part that was "hot." Deep plowing of exposed
lawns and vacant lots would begin, after the areas had been
thoroughly wetted down to prevent radioactive dust from es-
caping into the air.
Badly contanimated clothing, rugs, curtains and uphol-
stered furniture would have to be buried or burned in inciner-
ators especially designed to prevent the escape of radioactive
smoke. Lightly contaminated articles can be dry cleaned.
Deep plowing of exposed lawns and vacant lots would begin-
Gamma rays have no harmful effects upon food . • Properly
covered food should undergo little or no contamination, unless
it has been within very close range of an atomic burst, where
neutrons would make everything radioactive. Unless this is
the case, canned goods and foodstuffs in airtight, dust-proof
wrappings should be safe. But unprotected food, whether it
be in the home, the store or still growing in fields, will have to
be destroyed if once contaminated. There is no known way
to salvage it.
City filtration plants would remove radioactivity-
Water supplies are not easily contaminated. Natural dilu-
tion, absorption into the ground, and decay of the radioactivity
would quickly make the water fit for use. again. City filtration
plants would remove radioactive materials in the course of
normal purification of the water. In addition, water from mod-
erately deep wells, even under contaminated soil, would be
safe to drink unless there is surface drainage into the well.
Water may be distilled and made perfectly safe. But it should
t>e emphasized that boiling of contaminated water would do
no good at all. Boiling is useless against radioactivity.
The most effective means of decontamination is to let the
radioactivity die away by itself. This decay is rapid at first,
slowing only when the more dangerous-the really "hot"
materials-have spent their energy. In any future atomic
bomb attack, the hazards of contamination will be secondary
to the chaos wrought by blast and heat. And radioactivity,
like measles or mumps, is a community danger which can be
met and handled safely.
Fear of war may hasten its coming-
One of the greatest dangers of the atom bomb is the panic
it can produce. In addition to what we know about the destruc-
tive force of this weapon, there is the additional terror of the
unknown to scare us.
H you let it, the atom bomb can disrupt your life with
jitters whether or not any bomb ever actually falls. And yet
there is no real need for this. Individually, we all must face
the prospect of death sooner or later. And for many it will
come quickly and without warning. Yet this need not keep
us from a satisfying life.
The strain of anticipated peril is often even more unbcar-
able than the presence of the danger itself. Suspense and the
expectation of enemy snrprise is terribly unnerving. People
often even prefer war to such a life of tension and insecurity.
Thus it is that the fear of war and the awful consequences
of war may plnnge us headlong into war's reality. People may
be eager for the blitzkrieg to start-just so that action can
bring relief from the nerve-wracking tension of the sitzkrieg.
Psychiatrists looking into the state of America's mental
health see signs of jitters and panic-ripeness in our tendency
to see "flying saucers" in every cloudless sky and to fear "reds"
behind every desk and in every position of responsibility.
If and when an atom bomb ever does fall near you, you
will be scared. There is no doubt about that. If you are nor-
mal, you will be plenty scared.
You may not be aware of your own emotion. In fact the
chances are that you will be numbed, stunned. You will prob-
ably go about like a sleep walker, going through motions in
an automatic, robot way. This is the reaction of three-fourths
of all the persons involved in a major disaster-whether it is
a bombing, a catastrophic fire or a devastating earthquake.
The expressions, "scared stiff," "paralyzed with fright,"
"frozen with fear," describe very well the effects on 75 percent
of us. Such persons, caught in an emergency, may be unable
to get out of bed and dress themselves. Even if they are physi-
cally unharmed, they are unable to take any action to save
themselves or others, but lie down to await the death that
appears inevitable. Some pass from this paralyzed state into
death without ever coming out of their death-like trance.
One person out of five remains cool and coJlected in the face of
major disaster-
We know what happened when the first atom bombs
dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Some people dashed
along the roads without any destination in mind, in a purpose-
less stampede, screaming out their terror. Others remained
apathetic, apparently unable to sense what had happened to
them and what they needed, and equally unable to do any-
thing about the situation.-What would you do?
About one person out of five, it has been found, remains
cool and collected in the face of major disaster. These are
the persons who are the only ones capable of realizing the
situation. They can formulate some appropriate plan of action
and can see it through. It is on them that we must depend.
How to give air to this 20 percent who have cool heads, to
add to their numbers, and to strengthen them, is the problem
that needs attention in advance of any major emergency.
Psychologists and psychiatrists who have studied people
subjected to bombing and those in other great disasters know
what can be done to control fear and reduce panic. The pre-
scriptions are: preparation, information, action, faith in 1ead-
ership, food and rest.
As insurance against panic, people should be prepared in
advance for what may happen. They should know as nearly as
possible what to expect. Unfortunately, a potential enemy is
not likely to notify us at what hour and on what spot his bombs
will be dropped. But you can learn just what damage might
be expected if a bomb should fall in your community.
Formation of small groups charged with the responsibility
of taking action in your own particular neighborhood in case
of emergency is useful psychological protection. You will
have less tendency toward panic if you feel that you have the
backing of the solidarity of a group, especially if the group
is headed by a leader you know well and in whom you can
put your trust. You may want to belong to more than one
group-say one in your office and one in your home. Then,
wherever you may be when the blow strikes, you can feel that
someone is looking after things at the other end.
It is better to pass infonnation on to the public about what
damage to expect from a bomb if this warning is given to
them personally in groups, psychiatrists suggest. Dr. Dale C.
Cameron, assistant director of the National Institute of Mental
Health, warns of the disturbing effect of such information
transmitted by radio, television, films or newspapers. It is
natural, he points out, for you to feel anxiety when you start
thinking about such hazards. You can not voice your anxiety
to radio or to television or movie screen. But if your informant
is present in person you can ask questions and dissipate some
of your worry by expressing it. If you are in a group you can
also feel that you and your neighbors have the same uneasiness
and stand ready to help each other out; that it is not necessary
for you to face your fears alone.
You may wont to belong to a group in your office and one in your
Information about possible damage to be expected should,
if possible, be accompanied by infonnation about plans to
meet specific emergencies. What can be done if water mains
are destroyed? Where are wells and other emergency sources
of water? Suppose the electricity is cut off. How can you
manage for lights? What if telephone lines are down and
radio stations destroyed? Who is prepared to keep up com-
Keep the newspapers coming out; keep the
. stotions on the
Next to being prepared in advance for possible dangers, it
is of utmost importance for people to be informed about what
is happening and what is being done about it. In the absence
of reliable news, rumors run like wildfire. And rumor is the
father of panic. Rumors grow in the telling. Rumors nearly
always make things seem worse than they are--don't believe
them. .
In time of atomic disaster, the people will turn to the
sources of news that they have learned to rely upon. These
news sources should continue to function no matter what be·
falls a city or an area.
Keep the newspapers coming out. Keep the radio stations
on the air, even if it means using some two-way police radios
for news dissemination, or bringing in some walkie-talkies.
People will want an official truthful account of what is hap-
pening to them. They will also want to know what is going
on in other places, whether theirs is the only city under attack,
how others have fared.
Study of men in combat has told psychologists something
of how to control fear and avert panic. Action, it was found,
dispels fear. If an atom bomb drops, do something. Prepare
yourself in advance so that you will know what you can do
and how to do it, whether it is first aid, clearing debris from
the streets so that rescue apparatus can get through, or setting
up emergency light or water sources. Learn how well enough
so that at least some of the work can be done almost automati-
cally even if you are distracted by fear, noise and confusion.
Get acquainted with your neighbors-
When and if a bomb drops, go into action, Start work
immediately, Delay and waiting for orders or direction build
up fears, action works them off.
Before any bomb drops, prepare yourself by building up
your mental health, Get plenty of food and rest, Don' t let
a bomb catch you on the verge of jitters from too much drink-
ing or smoking or from late nights and overwork. If you are
a lonely person, make a deliberate attempt to make fri ends.
Get acquainted with your neighbors. The time may come when
you will need them and they will need you.
Practice love and affection in your family circle and among
your associates. In time of emergency, we are often steadied
and carried through by the comforting assurance that we are
loved. Nothing is so terrifying in time of disaster as the feel-
ing that no one cares, that we are alone with our terrors.
Hate and dislike lead to suspicion and suspicion to fear
and panic. Love or liking, on the other hand, build up mental
health and fortify us against terrifying situations.
This attitude could very well be spread from our immedi ate
circle of family and close friends to neighbors, other ci ties,
and even the world at large.
The real preventive of atomic panic is the building of a
world where suspicions and fears are not rampant-.where
there will be no desire or temptation on the part of any enemy
to drop an atomic bomb because there is no enemy.
I! is difficult to be friendly to someone who does not show
any disposition to make friends. We want people to meet us
halfway. But in some cases where fear and suspicion are al-
ready aroused, it is necessary to walk all the way down the
street and knock on a neighbor's door. Where people have
different ways of thought, different cultural traditions, oppos-
ing points of view, it is necessary to make a real study of them
in an effort to understand them and be able to make them
understand us.
Shoulder to shoulder work in a concerted attack on common
enemies such as poverty, ignorance, hunger and disease is
a good way to build up understanding and confidence and
reduce fear and the mutual suspicion which leads to cold war
and atomic races.
When the sky pales and the blinding light of a hundred suns
is everywhere, you will have less than a second to protect
yourself-approximately the time it takes to say "Atomic
Bomb" out loud.
Curl up in a ball 05 you hit the ground-
Instinct will tell you to look. Conquering that instinct may
mean the differences between life and death. If you turn to
see the bomb, radiation may blind you permanently. The heat
flash will catch you full in the face. burning horribly if you
are within two miles of ground zero. Don't look. Drop.
Curl up in a ball as you hit the ground. Put your hands
(and arms, if they are bare) against your stomach, and duck
your face into your chest. If you can shade all exposed areas
of your skin, you are far less liable to be burned.
Stay in a ball for ten seconds. Both the heat and the blast
wave will pass over you in that time. Then, if you can, stand
up. You will be among the survivors-provided you can move
fast enough to avoid falling rubble and fire.
If the explosion catches you one step from a tree-trunk
or doorway, you can take that step and crouch with your back
. r;/

In this position debris and broken glass will fatl out beyond you-
to the light. But if a possible shelter is two or three or four
steps away, don't try to make it. You won't have time.
After the crucial ten seconds, the fronts of brick buildings
may be crashing into the street. Your safest move will be to
press yourself tightly against the nearest wall-preferably the
wall of a concrete building, for concrete will not strip away
like brick. In this position, also, cornices and broken glass
from above will fall out beyond you.
Should the giant flash come when you are indoors, dive for .
the floor with your back to the window and crawl beneath or
behind the nearest table, desk or counter. Anything between
you and the window will stop not only the heat rays but also
the jagged bullets of broken glass. The blast will be followed
by wind of hurricane force; stay away from all windows for
~ ~
The safest place inside any building will be near the interior parti-
at least a minute. The safest place inside any building will be
near the interior partitions. Keep as close to these as possible.
An unexpected atom bomb is a terrible possibility. There
may be warnings of impending attack or even of approaching
bombers, however. You may have time to reach shelter. There
is such a thing against the atom bomb. Atomic shelters will
be a vital part of civilian defense. Properly built, they would
save thousands-of lives.
A small backyard she/ter-
In your own home, your best chance will be in the cellar,
particularly if there is an extension of the basement built out
beyond the main structure of the house. It should have an
escape hatch, perhaps through a ventilatiou shaft, in case
the house above you catches fire or The walls, plus
several feet of earth over the top, would offer an effective bar-
rier against blast and heat and act as a sponge to soak up
penetrating gamma radiation. A shallow rampart of earth or
sandbags outside the house would add to your protection in the
cellar, should the bomb go off high in the air. And it is in the
air that the A-bomb is calculated to do the greatest damage.
A buried or semi-buried shelter outdoors also would offer
worthwhile protection for your family. The English built
these by the thousand, during the Battle of Britain. World
War II brought them to many parts of Europe. Danger of
tornados has already brought similar storm cellars to many
parts of the American mid-West.
Ideally, your sheli er should be completely underground,
braced by foot-thick reinforced concrete walls and ceiling,
with forced-draft ventilation piped through special filters
which can eliminate radioactive dust or water droplets. But
simple semi-buried earth-and-pole shelters, caves or tunnels
dug into hillsides can give protection against blast, heat and
radiation very close to ground zero. Outdoor blast bomb
shelters of the type used in World War II, if covered with at
least 20 inches of packed soil, would reduce nuclear radia-
tion below the death level at distances greater than 3,000
feet from the explosion. The same effect would be achieved
by roughly 12 inches of concrete, four inches of iron or about
two inches of solid lead.
Emergency eql,ip''ll e,ot s.orea p'eflnane/lt/y
Japanese survived in shelters as close as 900 feet to ground
zero. Doors are not needed, if a baffle or turn in the entrance
passage is provided to stop the heat flash and much of the
radiation. It is essential to have at least two ways of getting
out of the shelter. Emergency equipment, such as a shovel,
lantern, crowbar, hammer, saw, axe, screwdriver and pliers,
should be greased and stored permanently in the shelter for
the possibility that all exits are blocked by after the blast.
Plans for an 8 to 10 foot concrete tornado cellar are avail·
able at fifteen cents each from the Extension Agricultural
Engineer, Oklahoma A. & M. College, Stillwater, Oklahoma.
This shelter has been recommended by the American Red
Cross for home construction in the mid-Western tornado belt.
The National Security Resources Board, responsible for atomic
defense planning, believes the shelter is one of the best for
family protection against atomic attack.
For shelters near the place you work, the Atomic Energy
Commission and Department of Defense recommend the lower
floors of fireproof, reinforced-concrete or steel frame buildings.
These buildings will offer greatest resistance to collapse. A
12-inch reinforced-concrete wall, well tied into such a struc-
ture, would provide adequate protection against blast and
nuclear radiation at distances over half a mile from ground
zero. To guard against inhaling the radioactive dust of a sur-
face or underground explosion, ventilating systems must be
shut down and all doors and windows closed in an emergency.
But air conditioning systems can be left in operation, provided
there is no leakage from outside.
It will be in such a shelter as this that your city's central
disaster station will be located. Here the vital orders for fire-
fighting and rescue operations will be prepared and sent out.
Teams of doctors and nurses, radiation monitoring" crews,
decontamination squads and the heavy equipment for clearing
rubble must have a headquarters to ensure coordinated effort.
One of.the most ticklish questions your city must decide is
where to put these control centers, and how strongly they
should be built. First, no one knows where ground zero will be.
Second, the gigantic force of the atom bomb, even of the
"obsolete" types we used on Japan, makes it impractical to
design a building which would stand up under an atomic
explosion directly overhead. What is , the distance, then, at
which protection becomes practical? How far away will con-
struction engineers assume the atomic bomb goes off in build-
. ing shelters and strengthening buildings?
Any decision here is a calculated risk. But from science's
knowledge of the destructive effects of the bomb, through
blast, heat and nuclear radiation, present planning is based
upon-a distance of half a mile from ground zero. Inside that
circle, destruction and death will be virtually complete. In
atomic attack, this mile-wide area must be written off as
doomed. Your chances of surviving there, to put it mildly,
range from poor to nil.
But beyond 3,000 feet, slightly more than half a mile, the
ratio of deaths to survivors begins to fall off rapidly. Protection
becomes practical. Buildings can be strengthened enough to
withstand the blow. In fact, at Nagasaki, there were no earth-
quake-resistant, reinforced-concrete buildings which suffered
serious damage to their frames at distances greater than 2,000
feet from ground zero.
Contrary to popular belief, U.S. buildings are not much
stronger than those at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Many are
weaker, for after the disaster of 1923 the Japanese wrote
earthquake protection into their building codes. Only in the
eleven Western states are similar earthquake-proof buildings
required in the United States.
American skyscrapers, much higher than any buildings in
the Japanese bombings, are built on heavy steel frames. Build-
ings such as these, which include oftice buildings and many
hospitals, would withstand the blast of an atomic bomb quite
well. But brick buildings, small or large, ahnost surely would
crack and crumble up to a mile from ground zero, and suffer
severe damage if within a mile and a " .. If. Individual homes,
whether of brick or wood, would not fare much better than
Japan's "paper homes." Within 7,500 feet, nearly all would
suffer severe structural damage.
Remove heavy indoor lighting fixfures ""hieh mig'" foil-
There are a number of things you can do to make your
own home safer. Few wi1l go to the extreme of building a
two-foot-thick, reinforced-concrete wall around the house,
although this would provide almost complete protection. But
you can remove overhanging cornices, heavy indoor light fix-
tures which might fall, false ceilings and the like. Light, C0111-
bus tile curtains and draperies are a serious fire hazard at your
windows. Such ornamental fabrics should be fireproof--<>r
removed completely.
If your home is within three miles of a possible A-bomb
target and you have a picture window in the living room, you
might substitute plastic for plate glass. Wired glass would also
make your windows safer. Half-inch wire screening stretched
Wire glass and half·inch wire screening will make your windows
over the wired glass and nailed to the window frames would
make them safer yet. But muslin or paper glued over the glass
would do no good at all. The massive blast of the atomic
bomb would blow in the window anyway.
If your home is within five miles of water, remember that
brick, concrete, stucco and unfinished wood can absorb the
radioactive rain and mist thrown out by an underwater explo-
sion. A coat of paint makes decontamination much simpler.
If you cook or heat with gas, make certain there is a cut-off
valve in the basement-and that you know how to use it.
Larger buildings in a possible target city can be strengthened
by added bracing and shoring or new transverse reinforced-
concrete walls. They can be made safer for the man in the
street by stripping them of all outside ornamental brick or
stone and overhanging cornices.
Factory buildings, with light, saw-tooth roof trusses and
little more than a corrugated shell over a steel skeleton, are
among the most vulnerable structures in atomic blast. To make
them safer, asbestos siding can be substituted for metal. The
FactorY'buildings light, saw-toothed roof trusses are among
the structures-
corrugated asbestos breaks up readily and thereby lessens the
shock on the framework of the plant. Blast walls of reinforced
concrete twelve inches thick can be built to protect equipment
such as generators, boilers and vital machine tools.
In the construction of new buildings in a possible atomic
target area, factory, office building or home, the Atomic
Energy Commission makes a few common sense suggestions.
If possible build at least three miles from the most probable
If not, avoid extensive use of brick or other loose facings.
These become deadly missiles when torn loose by blast.
Keep windows areas to a minimum. People who live in
glass houses, shouldn't.
Instead of designing for a wind load of 15 pounds per
square foot, as is generally the case in multi·storied buildings
today, the building should be made strong enough to stand up
to 90 pounds per square foot horizontal push. Details of earth-
quake-resistant construction should be used, wherever possible.
Bridges can likewise be strengthened against sideways push.
If you build in a depression or ravine, it is better iUt runs at
right angles to the most likely explosion area. The hill behind
your home will then shield it to a certain extent.
Build your buildings as resistant to fire as possible.
At Hiroshima and Nagasaki, fifty percent of the deaths
and nearly three-quarters of the injuries were caused by burns.
Burns from secondary sources - fires which followed the
.atomic explosions-were even more hazardous in many cases
than the initial flash of pure heat. But something can be,done
to protect you from atomic heat and fire.
At Hiroshima and Nagasaki, falling rubble and flying glass
caused more casualties than direct blast pressure. Something
can be done to protect you against being crushed.
At Hiroshima and Nagasaki, not more than fifteen percent
of the fatalities died from radiation sickness. And something
can be done to protect you against radiation.
Living with the grim possibility of atomic attack does not
mean laughing it off, nor forgetting about it, nor resigning
to fatalism. "If it comes, we'll all be dead, so why worry about
it" philosophy is just as unrealistic as not having a fire depart-
ment in your town. Preparing for fire is a hard job. Preparing
for the atom bomb is even harder, and it may seem far less
necessary. Yet proper preparation can mean thousands of lives.
Among them may be your own.
For defense against an atomic war, the nation needs
20,000,000 lay persons trained in first aid. And those
20,000,000 will need special training in new things to do to
save atom bomb victims. Some of these things will be so modi-
fied as to seem ahnost the reverse of what you do normally
in giving first aid to a highway accident victim or an injured
workman in your plant.
You remember from the Red Cross first aid course you
took during the last war that the first thing you were taught
was to keep an injured person lying down.
"DON'T let an injured person get up.
"DO keep an injured person lying down," read the instruc-
tions in the American Red Cross First Aid Textbook, with
pictures to emphasize this important lesson.
But if you are going to give first aid to victims of an A or H
bomb, you may not always be able to follow these time·honored
directions. Your first job may be to get the injured person to
safety, regardless of whether he is fainting or has broken
bones. If fire is creeping close, if the walls or nearby buildings
are about to fall, and if you are alone with half a dozen badly
injured persons, you will not be able to "splint them where
they lie."
In case of an atom bomb explosion it may be that the most
life·saving thing you can do will be to rescue the injured from
areas of hazard. It may be possible to give top.notch first aid
care to many victims and this should be done wherever pos·
sible. But where there are many cases of badly injured and
equipment is lacking, many of your carefully learned first aid
lessons may need to be changed.
In the first ·aid course, for example, you learned to be careful
about every minor cut and scratch, cleansing them thoroughly
f ~
} : - ~
If danger is close, you will not be able 10 "splint them where they
and perhaps applying a sterile dressing to guard against infec-
tion. In the event of an atom bomb attack, some of your
patients may be covered with tiny cuts and scratches from
flying glass. But in a critical situation you will pay no atten-
tion to these, and if that is all the injury the person has, you
will send him on his way home or to shelter, telling him to see
his doctor a few days later when things have quieted down.
You learned in the Red Cross first aid class to see what
injuries the patient had and to care for the most serious ones
first. You will be doing the same thing in case of an atom
bomb attack, but on a much larger scale and with one impor-
tant new feature added.
This new feature may well be included in the first lesson
you will get in first aid courses revised and expanded to meet

Care for the most serious iniuries first-
the needs of atomic war. This first lesson may be on the
geography of an ato'!' bomb attack as it relates to first aid to
the injured. Through it you will learn to think of your home
town in terms of circles or concentric rings, like the rings that
spread out from the center when you drop a stone in a quiet
pool of water.
At the center is the point where the bomb drops, if it is an
air burst. What you do in the way of first aid depends on
where you are in relation to this central point. Up to one mile
out, in all directions, from this central point, will be the area
of very heavy destruction from the blast damage and of deadly
dosage of radiation. Most of the people in this area will be
killed, but a few will survive. Authorities estimate that about
5 % of people in this first zone will survive and not even suffer
damage from radiation. The figures are based on the Japanese
experience. Survival of these few people was due to the fact
that they happened to be in places where they were sheltered
both from blast and radiation.
For the next mile out in all directions there will be heavy
blast damage and this is also the "dangerous dose" area of
radiation. Here is where you will apply your modified first aid.
This is the hazard area where there may be fire, falling walls
and flying debris that could kill you and your patient while
you are taking time to apply a splint or a tourniquet to stop
Here also is the place where you probably will not have
any splints or tourniquets or sterile dressings to apply even
if you had the time. They will either have been destroyed or
so covered with debris that you could not get at them. So you
look first, as always, for signs of shock and bleeding, but also
for signs of approaching fire or shaky walls. If the patient is
bleeding you put your hand right over the bleeding place, dirt
and all, and press hard enough to check the bleeding. You
keep up the pressure while you lead the man or woman to
safety. More likely, you will have to show the patient where
and how to use pressure and send him on his way alone, while
you go on to care for the next victim, the next, and the next.
Keep up the pressure while you lead the patient 10 safefy-
You may notice the symptoms of oncoming shock as you
have been trained to do, but whether you have the patient lie
down and try to keep him warm, to prevent shock, or whether
you send him on to safer area or to his home will depend on
the situation with regard to the likelihood of further damage
and injury.
You do not need to worry or even think about the radiation
effects. Up to the present, there is nothing in the way of first
aid treatment that will overcome the effects of a heavy dose
of radiation. All the things that can be done, including the
new methods now being tested in laboratories, for helping
toward the possible recovery of patients who got heavy doses
of radiation, will have to be done by doctors and nurses, Your
role as a first aider will be to keep the surviving victims from
bleeding to death or getting further fatal injuries before the
doctors and nurses have a chance to try to treat them.
Remember this about the radiation from an atom bomb:
It is all over in a minute or so. About 99 % of the radiation
produced comes out in the first fraction of a second after the
bomb goes off. By the time you have picked yourself up,
realized what has happended and pulled yourself together and
begun to think about using your first aid training to help
those around you, the danger is over. You will gain nothing
by running away. You can safely stay and help those in need.
Next in the geography of atom bomb first aid are the
areas between two and four miles out from the center where
the bomb was dropped. Here the damage will be moderate to
Quick, proper treatment of leg or arm injuries-
slight. Most buildings will be standing; there will not be much
fire danger, but there may be many casualties.
About 20 or 25 % of the people in these two outer areas
of a mile each will be killed. Many others will have severe
injuries. There may be bad leg cuts that are bleeding pro-
fusely. Quick, proper treatment can save many lives here. And
this is the area where top notch first aid can and should
be given.
You will have time to do it because there will not be so
many injured in your immediate yjcinity, and you will have
splints and other equipment to use. But even though you may
see only two or three or five badly injured persons, the total
number will be large because the area is circular. So the total
number of trained first aiders must be large if people in this
area are to be saved.
You will not, of course, stop to consult a map to see which
area you are in after an atom bomb burst. Nor will you be
able to tell the exact point where the bomb fell. But you will
be able to locate yourself atom-geographically pretty well by
the look of things around you.
If most of the buildings are down and you see fire, you are
near the central area. If only a few buildings are down, and
those mostly the small brick structures, and no large fire seems
close, you are probably out in the moderate to light damage
area. The one-, two-, three- and four-mile circles may each be
larger, depending on the power of the atom bomb dropped.
Look for 1. serious bleeding, 2. difficult breathing or stop-
page of breathing, and 3. poisoning. Treat immediately, in
that order, before you do anything else.
That is the Number One rule that will be taught the
20,000,000 persons throughout this nation who will be needed
to give first aid in event of an atomic attack. It is the prime
rule to remember at any time you are giving first aid, whether
to victims of a highway accident or to someone who is acci-
dentally injured at home or at your place of work.
Victims of an atomic attack will suffer many kinds of
injuries. There will be all the kinds that would come in an
ordinary bombing attack, plus a few peculiar to the atom bomb
itself. Flash burns and burns from fire and injuries from blast,
from flying debris and from collapsing buildings can be
expected in varying degrees, both as to number and severity.
From the bomb itself, of course, will come ionizing radia-
tions, those alpha, beta and gamma rays that are so mysterious
and frightening to most people. The damage these do depends
on the dose of them that gets inside the body. Within 500
yards of the point where the bomb explodes a high enough
dose of ionizing radiation to kill is likely to strike most of
the victims. But these same victims are also likely to be killed
immediately by blast, fire and collapsing buildings. Even up
to 1,000 yards out, ionizing radiation from the bomb will be
great enough to kill, though the victims may not die immedi-
ately and may die of other injuries than that from the ionizing
In non-fatal cases of this radiation injury, signs and symp-
toms usually do not appear until two or three days after and
sometimes not until three weeks after.
As a first aider, you will not be worrying about caring for
these ionizing radiation injuries themselves. But if, two or
three days after the bomb burst, one of your friends or
neighbors complains of feeling a little sick, and perhaps has
been nauseated and had diarrhea, you might suspect radiation
injury and advise him to see a doctor promptly. Many of the
borderline cases may be saved by transfusions of whole blood.
And perhaps by the time an atom bomb drops in your town,
medical scientists will have found other good treatments for
the radiation injury from it.
Many of the borderline cases might be saved by transfusions of
whole blood-
Some of the victims may complain that they cannot see.
Unless the eyes are protected, the flash of the bomb could
produce temporary blindness. Normal eyesight will return in
about five minutes, on the average, though this temporary
blindness may last for several hours. You will help these victims
to a safe place, reassuring them, and of course treating any
serious injuries they may have. But leave the eyes alone. You
don't want to put anything in or on the eyes that might cause
infection. Radiation from the bomb can cause serious damage
to the eyes. The number of these radiation cataracts so far
reported among Japanese victims, however, has been small.
They do not develop immediately and, like any other cataract.
require treatment by an eye specialist when they do develop.
As a first aider immediately after the bomb goes off, how-
ever, you are going to be busy helping people with bad burns,
torn and mangled limbs, gaping belly wounds with intestines
and other internal organs showing, and people choking and
gasping for breath because of pressure on chest and belly or
a wound that has pierced the chest. And there will be others
with mouth and nose so covered by sand, gravel and other
rubble that they cannot breathe.
If blood ;s coming fast, it is serious, and you must try to stop it-
Remember you are going to look first for serious bleeding
and stop it. Loss of more than two pints of blood at one time
can be serious and may be fatal. If a large artery or vein is cut,
blood will pour out fast and in large quantities. Bleeding is
serious if bright red blood spurts from a wound or if the blood
is flowing freely, whether bright or dark. Blood from arteries
is brighter than blood from veins and usually comes in spurts
<:orresponding to the beating, or pumping action, of the heart.
You do not need to decide, however, whether the blood is
-coming from an artery or vein. If it is coming fast and does not
stop by itself within four or five minutes it is serious and you
must try to stop it. Remember, the victim may have been
bleeding four or five minutes by the time you reach him. So if
you see a lot of blood on his clothes or see the blood pouring
from a wound, go into action at once.
Direct pressure is the most commonly used way to stop
bleeding. You may have to put your hand right on the wound.
Sometimes pressing your fingers on the edge of the wound will
stop the bleeding. If you have a sterile gauze compress, use
it, but don't wait to get one. A clean handkerchief or cloth
is better than your hand or fingers, but again, don't wait to
find one. Depending on circumstances, you can send someone
for a handkerchief or bandage, or the victim may be able to
apply pressure while you get one. As soon as you can, sub-
stitute a cloth or dressing for you hands and fingers and press
firmly on that. If this stops the bleeding, bandage the cloth or
dressing tightly. Look at the bandage frequently to see whether
bleeding has started again. If it has, you must apply more
pressure. Don't take the bandage and dressing off, however.
This might disturb or break the clot that is forming.
If the bleeding is from a wound in the neck, you cannot
very well bandage a dressing in place. Put your hands above
and below the cut and press firmly enough to stop the bleeding
and keep up the pressure until a doctor tells you to stop. Be-
cause the blood will make the neck very slippery to hold, a
compress of the cleanest material immediately available will be
a great help in keeping the pressure on.
When bleeding is from the hands, feet, arms or legs, it may
help to raise the injured part. If there is a broken bone, how-
ever, do not do this. Keep the injured part quiet, aside from
the necessary manipulation to apply pressure and bandage and
to raise it. Movement may loosen the clot and causing bleeding
to start again.
A good way to stop serious bleeding in many cases is to
press your hands or fingers on certain "pressure points." These
points are where the main artery to the injured part lies close
to a bone, which gives a firm object against which to press.
Pressure points on the body-
There are a number of these pressure points, but the two
most practical for the first aider to learn and use are:
1. On the inner, or body, side of the arm, below the armpit
and about halfway between shoulder and elbow.
2. In the mid-groin as the artery passes over the pelvic
bone. Press downward, with your arm straight, pressing the
heel of your hand into the middle of the groin.
You have undoubtedly heard about tourniquets used to
stop bleeding. Remember that they are always dangerous.
Applied by someone who knows how, they are useful, but
they should not be used if bleeding can be checked by other
A tourniquet can be made from a belt, stocking, handker-
chief or cloth folded to make a flat band at least two inches
wide. Never use a rope, wire or sash cord. Tourniquets are
most conveniently used on arms and legs. Wrap the flat mate-
rial twice around the leg or arm. The correct places are around
the upper arm about a hand's breadth below the armpit and
around the thigh about a hand's breadth below the groin.
Tie the ends in a half-knot. Put a stick or similar article on
the half-knot and tie a square knot. Then twist the stick
swiftly to tighten the tourniquet. Hold the stick in place by
the ends of the tourniquet or another bandage.
Don't bother to put on a tourniquet until you have brought
the bleeding under control by pressure on the wound or on
the appropriate pressure point.
Tourniquets must be tight enough to stop the flow of blood
in the artery. Since this is usually deep below the surface, the
tourniquet must be really tight or it will be worse than useless.
One way of telling whether it is tight enough is to feel for the
pulse at wrist or, if the tourniquet if on the leg, at the instep on
the front of the foot between the ankle bones. If the flow of
blood through the artery has been stopped, there will be DO
pulse. But it takes practice to know whether this is the case.
When you get the tourniquet really tight, you have cut off
all blood to that arm or leg. If the circulation is cut off long
enough, the part dies and gangrene sets in. That is why standard
first aid lessons direct you to loosen the tourniquet every 15
minutes, tightening it again if bleeding starts. Also, you must
be careful not to cover a tourniquet with a bandage or splint,
or it may be forgotten and not loosened when necessary. As
an extra precaution, you can put the letters TK on the victim's
forehead, using pencil, lipstick, a piece of charred wood or
whatever is handy for marking.
As you can see, the use of a tourniquet is complicated.
Unless you have had enough training to be expert, it may be
wiser and safer not to try using this dangerous instrument.
Loosen the tourniquet every fifteen minutes-
Burns and how to cure them are the hottest medical problem,
thanks to the danger of A-bomb radiation added to the more
peaceful accidents such as smoking in bed.
The best cure for burns is to prevent them. But if you are
burned badly, the chances are you will get the best treatment
the world has ever been able to give to burns.
Ugly, dangerous burns with the flesh literally cooked and
charred and the skin totally destroyed are called third degree
burns. The sign of a second degree burn is the blister, though
you cannot always tell by this sign immediately, because the
blisters may not form until hours or even a day later.
The first degree burn, unlike murder, is the least serious.
The reddened skin of a mild wind or sunburn is an example
of a first degree burn. The damage is confined to the most
superficial layers of the skin which may "peel" in small
powdery flakes. If you blistered after that day at the beach,
however, you had a second degree burn. How sick you were
depended on how much of your skin got seriously burned.

.... . 'iflJ: ,r _
""" ....

The red skin of a mild sunburn is on example of first degree burn-
The amount of body surface burned as well as the degree
of the burn plays a part in the severity of the burn. Up to
the time of the second World War, first degrees burns involving
two-thirds of the body surface and, in adults, second-degree
burns involving one-third of the body surface were generally
fatal. But in 1945 a Navy surgeon could report the recovery
and return to duty within three months of a young Marine
who had second and third degree burns over 83% of his body.
To get such results requires practically the whole armory of
medical weapons from gauze to vitamins and steaks and the
surgeon's skin grafting instruments. And it requires also a corps
of trained medical personnel. Because of the tremendous
amount of material and equally large number of persons needed
to care for a single badly burned patient, present medical re-
search on burns is aimed partly at finding ways to cut these twin
bottlenecks without sacrificing the patient's recovery.
In the decade before World War II, tannic acid was widely
used to treat burns. It was used either alone or in combination
with silver nitrate, a purple dye called gentian violet, or a so-
called triple dye. The idea was to tan the skin and produce a
protective scab, medically termed an eschar. These substances
were sprayed on the skin until a good eschar was produced.
Then the patient was put to bed and covered with a heat cradle.
Burn ointments for home use had tannic acid put into them and
people were even told that, if they could not get medical aid
promptly, they might start the tanning process by applying
strong tea to the burn.
The tanning treatment, however, had to go on over a pro-
longed period and the results were uncertain. Pus can collect,
undetected, under a tanned scab and may destroy valuable
bits of skin not killed outright by the burn. In second degree
burns, even severe ones. many of the deeper parts of the skin
are spared and can regenerate new skin. The tanning treatment
too often destroyed these important surviving bits of skin tis-
sue. The difficulty of removing the scab was another disadvan-
tage of this method.
Successors to the tanning treatment were: 1. Use of a sulfa
drug, sulfadiazine, in triethanolamine spray to form a trans-
parent, pliable scab, or eschar, through which pus formation
and other changes in the burned area could be seen. 2. Use of
boric acid, in ointment or in fluid form under pressure dress-
ings. This was abandoned when it was discovered that beric
acid, previoUSly considered a harmless, if weak antiseptic,
could poison and even kill in some circumstances.
Discovery of the sulfa drugs and then of penicillin and other
antibiotics has greatly aided the victims of severe burns. Infec-
tion has long been a major problem in burns, particularly those
occurring in disasters in which the victims may have other
wounds besides the burn. In the event of an atomic disaster,
the infection problem is greater because radiation from the
bomb reduces resistance to infection.
Medical scientists have not yet all agreed on the best method
of fighting infection in burns. Some believe that sulfa drugs or
penicillin or other antibiotics should be put directly onto the
burn, usually in the form of an ointment, when the first dressing
is put on. Others think it is better to put nothing on the burn
itself except a sterile dressing or a sterile dressing impregnated
with petrolatum. This group thinks the penicillin or other anti-
infection drug should be given by hypodermic injection, as in
the case of pneumonia or other infection, to be carried to the
burned area and all other parts of the body by the blood stream.
But, says the other side, this method of giving penicillin requires
more trained personnel to give the hypodermic injections.
Both sides agree that when there are other wounds besides
burns, as there are likely to be in the case of an atomic or other
great disaster, "shots" of penicillin would have to be given to
fight the danger of infection from the other wounds.
The solution may come, at least for atomic bemb burn
victims, through aureomycin or some other antibiotic which
is effective when given by mouth in pills or capsules.
One of the methods of treating burns now under trial in a
couple of burn research centers, is the "exposure method."
With this method, nothing is put on the burn, It is left com-
pletely exposed to the air, but the burned part is immobilized
in some way, Good healing of superficial burns, without infec-
tion, in one to four weeks, has been reported with this
method, Penicillin "shots" are given the patient as part of the
treatment How well this method works with deep burns that
extend through all layers of skin tissue remains to be seen.
Direct opposite of the exposure method is the pressure dress-
ing which came into use during World War II and has con-
tinued in use since then. These are large pads of absorbent,
resilient material bandaged on tightly and left in place for a
week or 10 days. With this dressing pain is greatly relieved and
ahnost all superficial burns, mild or deep, heal in one to four
weeks if infection does not develop. Disadvantages, in case
of disasters with mass casualties to be treated, are the amount
of material and time and numbers of trained personnel needed
to apply to dressings.
To cut this bottleneck, there is a new burn dressing con-
sisting of fine mesh gauze next to the skin, a thick cellucotton
pad and a tough outer layers of cotton. This all-in-one-section
dressing can be put on quickly and its application should need
only supervision by a doctor, thus freeing him to supervise
treatment of large numbers of patients at one time. This dress-
ing is now getting experimental trials in two large clinics where
many burns patients are treated.
Nylon is also on trial as a burn dressing. English doctors
have been trying Nylon bags to cover burned hands and pieces
of Nylon to cover other burned areas. Advantages are that it
can be put on fast, it can be sterilized in an autoclave, does not
tear easily, is transparent in the form used so that the doctor
can watch the progress of the bum without removing the dress-
ing. allows unrestricted movement of the burned part, and
should be cheap if mass-produced.
If fluid collects over the bum, the doctor can stick a sterile
needle through the Nylon dressing or bag, suck out the fluid
and seal the tiny needle hole instead of having to remove the
entire dressing and put on a fresh one. Needed for more effec-
tive use of this dressing is a method of sealing the Nylon to the
skin around the edges of the bum.
Regardless of what kind of dressings are used or whether
none are used, good burn treatment dictates that everyone in
attendance on the patient, from the surgeon who dresses the
burn to the nurse or orderly who gives bedpans, should wear
a mask. This is to cut down the chances of infection from
germs that even healthy people may be carrying in their noses
and throats.
As everyone knows, burns are painful. Flash burns, such as
come in atomic attacks and also in explosions, are superficial
but extremely painfnl. Small doses of morphine or codeine do a
good job of relieving pain in superficial burns, such as the
flash burns of an atomic attack, and even in deep burns, espe-
cially when the burn is covered. The covering of the burn alone
does much to relieve pain and this is one reason medical scien-
tists have been working hard to find good simple ways of
covering burns without contaminating them, for use in large
scale disasters.
Morphine, however, may turn out to have another important
value in treatment of burns besides that of relieving pain, It
may reduce the swellings, from accumulations of fluid, known
medically as edema, which come with severe burns. In studies
with guinea pigs, scientists have found significant decreases in
the swellings with increasing doses of morphine. In this study,
the laboratory animals were all burned with a measured
amount of heat so that all had the same kinds of burns and
the effects of various treatments could be determined accu-
rately by comparing treated with untreated but identically
burned animals.
The morphine that reduced the swellings in these animals
was given before the burn, so one of the big questions to be
answered is whether it will be as effective for this purpose
when given after the burn. The studies are still going on and
it is not known yet whether the preliminary results will prove
out, especially when applied to burned humans instead of
burned guinea pigs.
Severely burned patients suffer shock, anemia and, if they
survive, the first shock period, a kind of poisoning from the
absorption of poison products from the burned tissues or from
infection or both. Plasma, the fluid part of the blood, as well
as red blood cells are lost from the blood stream into the
burned tissues.
Plasma and blood albumin help fight the shock. But severely
burned patients need whole blood as well. As one Army doctor
puts it. burned patients "seem to burn up transfused blood."
When a pint of whole blood is given to a burned patient, there
is not the increase in red blood cells that would be expected
and would come from transfusing a pint of whole blood to a
patient sick with some other wound or illness. An A-bomb
burn victim needs even more blood. because the radiation from
the bomb damages the blood forming organs in his body. This
makes him easier prey, also, to germs not only in the burn or
other wounds but to those of pneumonia or strep sore throat
or others which a previously healthy person could fight off
easily with the aid of a sulfa drug or antibiotic such as peni-
cillin. Atomic bomb burn victims need whole blood to save
them until their own blood making organs have recovered and
are on the job again.
Because the burn patient loses the fluid part of the blood,
this also must be replaced, as must salt and other minerals.
Vitamins, plasma, albumin, whole blood and salt solutions
are given by vein and as soon as he can drink and swallow,
fluids of all kinds are "forced."
Steaks or their equivalent in protein are a must in the diet sf the burn
Cortisone, adrenal gland hormone famous for its bene-
ficial effects in arthritis, might become part of the future
treatment for severely burned patients. Many doctors have
already been using adrenal gland extracts, but recent experi-
ments with guinea pigs show that the death rate can be halved
if cortisone is given along with treatment for shock during the
first critical days after the burn. The cortisone would tide
the patient over the critical "toxic" period between the third
and tenth days after the burn when some patients, even with
no infection, who have survived the initial shock, still die.
Whether cortisone is used for this purpose, of course, will
depend on two things: 1. Whether the guinea pig results
prove out in humans, and 2. Whether enough cortisone ever
becomes available.
Steaks or their equivalent in good protein are a "must" in
the diet of the burn patient. The protein ration should be at
least 125 grams per day. That is four ounces or more, and the
four ounces means protein, not just meat. It would take at
least a pound of sirloin steak, weighed without the bone, to
furnish four ounces of protein.
Because of the vast amounts of blood that would be needed
to save victims of atomic attack, scientists are vigorously push-
ing research on blood substitutes. More correctly, these should
be called plasma substitutes, because so far no one knows of
any real substitute for whole blood. Of the plasma substitutes,
useful for fighting shock and therefore important, dextran
seems at present to hold most promise. This is a Swedish
product developed, during World War II, from a byproduct of
sugar manufacture.
Being pushed also, under the American Red Cross national
blood program, is research into ways of keeping whole blood
-or red blood cells longer. At present, three weeks is the limit
of the useful life of red blood cells and therefore of whole
blood that has been drawn from the body. Any material exten-
sion of this time limit would make possible stockpiling of blood
on a larger scale for use in case of large scale catastrophes.
Third degree burns, in which all the skin is destroyed, are
Lhe ones in which skin grafting is needed unless the burn is
small in area. These also are the burns with ugly scars that
contract as they heal, pulling flesh out of shape and, when
they cross joints, making movement difficult or impossible.
Burns of the neck, hands, elbows and other jointed parts of the
body are therefore given special care to prevent these often
crippling contractures. Early skin grafting is usually done for
this purpose.
Another class of bums are chemical burns. First step in
treatment of these consists in washing off the chemical with
large quantities of water. If the burn was from an acid, an
alkaline solution, such as soda in water, if available, would
be useful because it would counteract the acid.
While the treatment of burns is enormously complicated,
burns are burns, whether they come from an atom bomb, the
sun's rays on the beach, a chemical, or the steam from the tea
kettle on the stove.
In case of burns, the first aider's duties "are to relieve pain,
prevent infection and treat shock."
Those directions, from the American Red Cross First Aid
Textbook, will be especially important for you to remember
if you are called on to give first aid in case of an atomic bomb
attack in your community.
Burns are expected to make up anywhere from one-fifth
to one-half the casualties in such an attack. Estimates based
on the Japanese experience may be too high, because with
any warning of the attack, large numbers of people should be
able to find shelter from the heat flash accompanying the bomb
burst. If fire-fighting plans now being made are carried out,
it should be possible to reduce the number of burn casualties.
still further, because many of these were caused by uncon-
trolled fires after the atom bombing in Japan.
Several thousand severe bum casualties, however, can be
expected in any community that is atom bombed. It is to care
for these, as well as for the victims with serious bleeding,
broken bones and tom and mangled flesh, that 20,000,000
lay persons must be trained in first aid.
Treatment of patients with severe burns requires morphine,
bandages, penicillin, blood, blood plasma and plasma substi-
tutes, salt and fluid replacement and special diets. But except
for the bandages, these measures all will have to be given in
hospitals or burn stations by doctors, nurses and other specially
trained personnel. Some of you may through your local civil
defense organization be called to take this special training for
work on a burn team. But everyone can learn the simple, imme-
diate first aid treatment for bums, whether caused by atom
bombs or an upset pot of boiling liquid on the kitchen stove.
The first thing to remember about a burn, no matter how
severe or slight, or what the cause, is to keep it from getting
infected. In other words, keep germs out, just as you are care-
ful to keep germs out of an open cut or other wound.
You might think that a burn would be sterile, all the germs
killed by the heat that seared the flesh. Hospital experience,
however, shows that this is not the case, Patients arriving in
hospitals for burn treatment almost always have some infection
in the burn. Penicillin and other modern germ-fighting drugs
playa tremendous part today in saving the victims of burns.
But these drugs are for use by doctors, not first aiders.
Your role as a first aider treating a burned patient is to
keep any more germs from getting into or onto the bum. If
you can get the patient to a doctor, hospital or burn station
quickly, you do not need to put anything on the burn. Watch to
see that clothing does not brush against it, and that no one
coughs, sneezes or weeps into or onto the bum.
In case of an atom bomb attack, and often in other cases
of burn injuries, it may not be possible to get the victim to
medical aid very quickly. In such a case, put a sterile dressing
on the burn to cover it and protect it both from the air and
from germs.
Keep any more germs from getting into or onto the burn-
The sterile dressing will help ease the pain. Any covering
over a bum helps to stop the pain, but do not use just any
covering. At Hiroshima people put rice flour, raw ground
potato and cucumber juice on burns. This, one burn authority
says, "undoubtedly accounted for the widespread subsequent
infection" though these substances apparently did relieve pain.
If you have not sterile dressings at hand, use the very
cleanest cloth you have. Ironing the cloth or heating it in an
oven will make it more nearly sterile and germ-free. Be care-
ful when you put the dressing on and bandage it in place to
avoid touching the bum or coughing or sneezing near it.
Nurses and doctors in hospitals wear face masks, you know,
when dressing a bum to keep genns from their breath getting
into the bum.
Ironing the cloth will make it more nearly sterile-
If the first sterile dressing does not relieve the pain, put
another one on top of the first, without disturbing the first one.
The second one very likely will stop the pain.
You can reasure a burn victim who complains of the pain
by telling him that the painful bums are not the serious ones.
This is because in serious bums, the nerve endings are de-
stroyed and the patient does not feel any pain. Do not, however,
tell this to the bum victim if he does not complain of pain.
Many people have a tube or jar of medicated bum ointment
in the home medicine chest or first aid kit. Tannic acid was
once widely used by doctors to treat burns and ointments
containing it were widely sold. Later, doctors found that tannic
acid was not good medicine for burns and now they do not
advise it. Some burn ointments have medicines in them to
relieve the pain. Most authorities now, however, advise that if
you do use an ointment, you use a bland petrolatum ointment
or jelly, such as Vaseline petroleum jelly.
If you are giving first aid to a burn victim who wants you to
put an ointment on, you should ask whether he is willing to
take a chance on having the germs in the burn sealed in by the
ointment. You might point out that use of the ointment may
mean a longer stay in the hospital because of the danger of
more severe infection. If you can calm him and relieve some of
his anxiety, you will do much to relieve the pain, too, because
fear is a large component of pain.
Shock, the third thing the first aider must be prepared to
handle in burn cases, is a subject for a lesson in itself, par-
ticularly since shock is something to consider in any major
Severe bleeding, bad burns, broken bones, crushing injuries,
shell, bomb and bullet wounds all call for treatment of shock.
And because shock is easier to prevent than to cure, first aiders
are taught to bring treatment immediately without waiting for
symptoms of shock to develop.
The work shock is used to describe many different condi-
tions, and some of you may therefore be confused about it. We
speak of a person having a great shock when he has suddenly
received bad news. Emotional or nervous shock may cause
fainting. Fainting is in some ways like the shock from severe
injury, but is different in being quickly reversible. Lowering
the patient's head usually revives him at once.
Electric shock is a definite injury for which first aiders get
special instruction. A kind of shock called chemical shOCk is
caused by poisons, and many persons have heard of insulin
shock, suffered by diabetics who get too big a dose of insulin.
The kind of shock that comes with severe injuries is a state
of collapse in which all body functions are depressed due to
failure of the circulation. Severe shock is always serious and
may be fatai.
Besides the original injury, the following factors may con·
tribute to shock: pain, rough handling, improper transporta-
tion, continued bleeding, exposure to excessive heat or cold,
and fatigue. The aged, the very young and the discouraged
are apt to suffer more from shock. Remember these factors
when you are giving first aid to an injured person, so that you
do not add to the shock he has already suffered.
Most common symptoms of shock are paleness, a cool,
clammy skin and a feeling of weakness or faintness. Perspira-
tion on the forehead, around the lips and on the palms of the
hands is another symptom. A weak, sometimes rapid pulse,
nausea and vomiting are symptoms of shock. The patient in
shock is often indifferent to what is going on around him and
to questioning. Unconsciousness is also a symptom of shock.
These symptoms may not all show in one patient. Usually
they develop gradually and the victim may seem perfectly all
right at first, only to collapse later. Even a patient in deep
shock may not show signs that the first aider can detect.
For these reasons, first aiders are taught that persons with
even minor injuries should lie down, and that in every case
of serious injury, shock should be treated. The only possible
exception to this rule would be in the event of an atomic attack
or other large scale disaster in which the first aider's first job
after stopping severe bleeding might be to get the injured
person out of the hazard area.
Loss of blood is one cause of shock, so when you stop the
bleeding you are also helping to overcome the shock, or at
least to keep it from getting worse.
First aid directions for treating and preventing shock cover
four points:
1. Position. Keep the patient lying down flat. If the injury
is severe, raise the lower part of the body a foot or so. If a chest
injury makes it hard for the patient to hreathe, raise his head
and shoulders slightly and keep the legs flat. Never force an
injured person to stand or walk except in the unusual situation
where you may have to get him away from flames or falling
walls. Even then, it would be better to have him carried.
2. Heat. The idea is to keep the patient comfortable but not
too hot. The old idea of applying heat to a patient in shock has
been revised because it is now known that coldness of hands
and feel in such cases is due in part to constriction of the blood
vessels. This is the body's way of making up for the defiCiency
in circulation. So you try to conserve the body's heat without
adding too much to it. The simplest method of doing this is
to cover the patient with blankets, coats, newspapers or what-
ever is at hand. Remember to put the covering under as well
as over him, to proteG! him from the coolness and possible
dampness of the ground. In hot weather, a small amount of
covering may he enough. You do not want your shocked
patient sweating. In very cold weather you may use hot water
bottles to keep his body from losing heat. Be careful not to
burn him. He may not feel the heat or be able to tell you it is
too hot, but can nevertheless get a burn from too hot a water
3. Fluids. Don't give an unconscious patient anything to
swallow and don't try to pour fluids down his throat. But if
the patient is conscious and can swallow, and is not nauseated,
small amounts of warm water, broth, milk, tea or coffee may
be given. The fluids will help keep him warm and will help
replace the fluids he may have lost in blood due to the injury.
A cupful every half hour is enough. You may need to feed it
from a spoon.
4. Other measures. Do not give stimulants. They have no
value in the first aid treatment of shock. Avoid unnecessary
questioning and handling of the patient, but care for other
Much has heen made of the deadly, invisible radiation pro-
duced by an A-bomb. The facts are that only about 15 per cent
of the victims of the Hiroshima bomb suffered from radiation.
More than half were burned.
Military men now look upon the A-bomb as a very much
larger combination high explosive and fire bomb. It has that
extra added quality-radiation-but the main damage it does
is exactly like the damage done by a block bHster and a string
of incendiary bombs, multiplied many times.
The A-bomb is a very much larger combination high-explosive and
If you are far enough away from ground zero-and many
tholLsands of people will be if and when an A-bomb falls--
your only immediate problem might be how to save your home
from burning down.
Tbe ball of fire from an A-bomb explosion reaches an in-
ternal temperature of more than 1,000,000 degrees, centigrade.
This energy is liberated in the form of thermal radiation-a
Being behind a tree or wall may protect you from the burns of
thermol radiation--
short, extremely hot heat wave-lasting only about tillee
The brevity helps. At reasonable distances, from ground
zero, being behind a tree, a wall or even a thin layer of light
colored cloth protects you from the burns caused by thermal
radiation. Thermal radiation may ignite many wood surfaces,
but the blast of wind caused by the explosion comes along and
puts out most of the fires started that way.
However, this is not the end of danger from fire. The shock
wave from the bomb. cutting gas mains, knocking over stoves
and furnaces, scattering fires from open fire places, creating
electrical short circuits, accentuates all the minor fi re hazards
of daily life. Lots of little fires will break out.
The A-bomb blast is bound to knock out some of your city's
fire equipment. The rest will not be able to cover all the small
fires that break out-they will be busy with large fires and with
rescue work. It will be up to you to prevent any fire that star1s
in your home from spreading.
Each home must be made reasonably fireproof-
It might be a good idea to look around your home or place
of business right now with the eager eye of a firebug looking
for a good place to start a fire. How is the attic? Piles of paper,
dried out clothing which will burst into flames? Do you have
half-full cans of old paint stuck in a closet some-where? How
about containers of kerosene or gasoline? Is your electric wir-
ing strong and well protected? Do you know where to turn off
the pilot light in your gas stove and how to cut off the gas
If and when a national emergency or an all-out war starts,
you will want tools for immediate fire fighting around your
house or place of business. These includes buckets of sand,
shovels, axes, commercial fire extinguishers, stirrup pumps
and, if you have a lawn, an always-connected garden hose.
The tools for fire fighting should be kept in your house-
Authorities divide on the issue of the filled bathtub. Every-
body filling their bathtubs during and air raid brings the pres-
sure in the water mains down and makes the job of the regular
firemen that much harder. It might mean the difference between
saving your house and seeing it burn to the ground.
However, a little water might be a great help if there is a
small fire in your home and the water has been cut off. The
best advice is-if you have not filled your tub when an air
raid alert sounds, leave it empty. After an alert and during an
air raid, only turn the water on for essential reasons or if a fire
actually has started in your home.
You may well have to fight a small fire in your home all by
yourself or with the help of neighbors. If, despite your efforts,
it begins to spread, it is possible that the organized fire fighting
services of civil defense will be able to come to your help.
It must be emphasized that whether they come depends on
many factors, the least of which is how much you love your
home. The most important is the availability of equipment and
fire fighters. Controlling the spread of fires near or in vital in-
stallations, preventing the many little fires from becoming a
wild thing which would sweep over the citty unchecked-that
will be the job of the firefighters from your city and surround-
ing communities.
The fire department of your city is, in a sense, already a
civil defense organization. It defends your city from disaster.
It is already trained to perform rescue, handle victims of burn-
ing or exp1osions, protect dangerous buildings and carry on
salvage and restoration. Firemen's thinking requires little tran-
sition from peace to war-only expansion.
Individuals fire companies know that, when a fire in their
precinct gets too big for them to handle, an already functioning
system will bring them help from neighboring companies. This
system, greatly expanded, both as to men and equipment, will
be the basis of our civil defense against fire from the A-bomb.
Your city's civil defense service will do three things-train
thousands of auxiliary firemen, enter into mutual aid agree-
ments with the fire departments of suurounding cities and
towns, and plan the city's physical defenses against fire.
Volunteer auxiliaries will/earn the fundamentals of their job--
Training programs have developed in each state many com-
petent firemen who can serve as instructors to the volunteer
auxiliaries. In thousands of towns and smaller cities, the tra-
dition of volunteer firemen is still alive. Volunteer auxiliaries
are as American of the thousands of firehalls. But the burden
of instruction of the auxiliaries will fall on the thousands of
regular, full-time firemen in the nation's larger cities.
Volunteer auxiliaries ought to be able to learn the funda-
mentals of their job in about 30 hours of instruction-perhaps,
as suggested by the National Fire Protection Association, in
ten sessions.
If you volunteer for the auxiliaries, your first lesson will
probably be about the tools with which you work. How does
a pumper work? What about the booster tank? How long will
it supply one and a half inch streams with various sizes of
nozzles? What do you do with extinguishers, axes, hose, bars,
rope tools, gas masks, lighting equipment? Do you know your
knots? Many of you will already know some of this, carrying
this knowledge over from your daily occupations.
You will learn how to take care of fire hose, how it is loaded
into the truck, how it is washed and dried after use, and the
difference between cotton rubber-lined hose and the rubber-
lined hose with rubber cover.
How do experienced firemen get the hose off the truck and
into operation so quickly? What is the best way of carrying a
hose? Should you lay the hose from fire to hydrant or from
hydrant to fire?
There are efficient ways to carry a ladder, safe and efficient
ways to set it in a window or against a cornice. You will prac-
tice carrying a dry line up a ladder, making the necessary ties
to the ladder and operating a stream.
Finally, the principal features of fighting fires in factories,
dwellings and small stores will be taught you. What is different
about how you attack fires which originate in basements, attics,
partitions or chimneys? What do you do first, what next, then
what and what last?
There are efficient ways of handling fire-fighting equipment-
Although many fire departments are now planning to train
at least twice as many auxiliaries as they have regular firemen
-that won't be enough. Large cities will have to depend on
surrounding communities-sometimes as far away as 100
miles for help in fighting fires started by an A-bomb.
Most states either have passed Jegistiation or will soon do
so giving cities the authority to make mutual aid agreements
with their neighbor cities, whether or not they lie across a state
border. Right now benefits to firemen, in many cases, stop at
a city's border. These agreements will take care of that situa-
tion. And they will permit the fire chiefs of neighboring cities
to find out whether their equipment is interchangable, whether
one city's hose will fit into the other city's hydrants. Fire per-
sonnel will become familiar with the layout and the fire fighting
methods of the departments in nearby cities.
Help will come too from within a city. In addition to the
regular, public fire departments, many large factories have
their own fire protection divisions. For civil defense, these will
be integrated with the regular and auxiliary fire departments.
Cities can be protected against uncontrollable fires-
City planners are giving thought to making cities fireproof
-or at least to how to keep fires from spreading out of control
in our cities. There are two things to be done: 1. Auxiliary
water supplies, 2. Fire breaks.
Of these, the first will be easier. The most probable kind of
A-bomb burst over our cities will probably not knock out water
mains. But it will spring innumerable leaks in water pipes.
Quick work with the valves will be necessary to maintain the
vital pressure needed by our firefighters. Good initial planning
will make sure this quick work is done. But this may not be
Your city's fire department and water works will cooperate
in finding out how to tap nearby lakes and streams, providing
auxiliary pipe lines from these sources. They may establish
huge tanks in strategic areas. The firemen will learn how to lay
pipelines on the surface at the greatest possible speed to replace
bombed out pipes when water is needed quickly. If necessary
the water works will figure out ways of carrying impure water
from rivers and lakes in regular pipelines in an em,eq;
Firemen can pipes mains-
Fire breaks are not good unless they are wide enough. Ex-
perience in the fire-bombed cities of England, Germany and
Japan showed that a break had to be 100 yards wide to be
effective. City planners are figuring now, what buildings
should come down, how to utilize natural fire breaks, like wide
avenues and streams.
It will depend, of course, on how urgent each city feels is its
situation whether or not fire breaks are constructed. Some
cities even now see this as an opportunity of combining slum
clearance with greater safety for the citizens.
The A-bomb is the greatest incendiary bomb yet made. To
minimize the damage it does by fire, every citizen will have to
The enemy, if and when he strikes in an all-out war and, if
and when he uses the A-bomb on our cities, will attempt to
supplement the damage done to our will and ability to resist.
He will turn to enemies within our gates for this job-for sub-
version and sabotage.
OUf defenses against these two dangers are much more sure
than our defenses against the A-bomb. For one thing, they are
nothing new. Governments and peoples have been dealing with
them since the beginning of conflict between man and man.
Just as in our defense against the A-bomb, there are two
parts to defense against sabotage and subversion, active and
passive. And just as with defense against the A-bomb, there are
trained professionals to take care of the active side of things.
In this case it is the Federal Bureau of Investigation-aided
by the state, city and county law enforcement agencies.
"The F.B.I. rounded up suspected saboteurs within hours of Pearl
You will remember that during World War II there was
hardly one case of sabotage worth a big headline--there were
few attempts made to subvert our war effort. This was pri-
marily because the F.B.I. had done a quiet but effective job
before the war started in putting the finger on the boys who
were set to cause trouble. They were rounded up within hours
after the bombs dropped on Pearl Harbor. Foreign employers
of these spies did not get much for their investment.
The F.B.I. was first given the job of investigating espionage,
sabotage, subversive activities and related matters by Presi-
dent Roosevelt in September, 1939. Its effectiveness was
demonstrated in World War II.
Now, once again faced with the threat of war, the F.B.I. is
once again on the job. Some evidence of their work has come
to light. Witnesses in the trial of 11 top Communist leaders
turned out to be F.B.I. agents who had posed for years as
members of the Communist party, who had gained some of
the innermost secrets of that party.
But we may bet on it that the F.B.I. was most certainly not
showing its whole hand in these trials, that as you read this
members of the Communist party, whether underground or
overt, do not know whether to trust their closest associates in
the party for fear they might really be F.B.I. men. They no
doubt have good reason for this fear.
The F.B.I. has estimated that there are 54,000 members of
the Communist party in this country-not enough to fiJI
Yankee Stadium. It is a reasonable assumption that the F.B.I.
knows where most of them are now.
Yet the job of keeping track of the enemies within our
country is a never-ending one. The enemy is always trying new
tricks, using new personnel.
.rul:' 24, 19.50
On Septelliler 6
19.39 and Jan\l8l7 8, 1911.3 .. Pr02li-
dential Du-ective lml5 il!lsued. Irorlding that the Federal Bure&u
or InTeetigaUon of the DepartmBnt or Ju.5t1ce should take
charge of investigative 'II"Or'k in mtters relating to,
sabotage, 5\lhversive &ctiv1t1.ea and related ::attf:ll's. It 1mB
pointed out that the mvestigationl!l ItI15t be conducted in a
cClllpreheIl5ive mnner on a Naticnal basis and all. in!Ol'1IlI.ticn
care!ull.7 sUted out and correlated in order to avoid c0nf'u8ion.
I should ille to again call the a ttsnUon or all En1'arcement
Officers, both Federal and state, to the requut that they re-
port au 1n!'orma. tien in the abow enumerated £ialde promptq
to the nearest Field Representative of the Federal Bureau of
InTestigation, lIhich 1s charged with the rel!lponsibllity' or
correlating ti'.ie material and referring matters ldlich are under
the jurisdiction of &:ny' other Federal .lgency 'If1 ttl r8epona1hlli-
ties 1n thil5 field to the awopr1a.te agency.
I 5Uggel5t that all patriotic crganizatiCllfil and.
1ndj:'rldua15 llkewiee report all such informatioo relating to
espionage, 15a.botage and flubverflive activities to the Federal.
Bureau ot Inve8t1g& tion in this same manner.
In the past, much valuable help has come to the F.B.I. from
the average law-abiding American. Plain citizens have seen
people do things which are wrong or which they suspect are
wrong. These citizens have gone to the telephone and reported
these things to the F.B.I. And many times what plain citizens
have seen has been a detail in the information the F.B.I. needs.
Of course, millions of us will go through our lives never
seeing a spy or a saboteur going about his business. Thousands
of us may, at one time or another, think we see something like
that. Only hundreds will be right. It would be foolish for all
of us to see enemy agents lurking behind every tree, to become
frightened of our own shadows and report them to the F.B.I.
But we are citizens, we might see something which might be
useful to the F.B.I. and it is our duty to report what we see.
rt is also our duty to know what is useful to the F.B.I. and
what isn't.
J. Edgar Hoover has said: "The F.B.I. is interested in re-
ceiving facts; we are not interested in what a person thinks but
in what he does which undermines our internal security. Avoid
reporting malicious gossip or idle fumors.,
In other words, the F.B.I. is not a police state Gestapo-
thank goodness. It is charged with the job of investigating the
possible commission of certain specific crimes written into Jaw
by the people whom we elect. If you think your neighbor has
"radical" views-that is none of your or the F.B.I.'s business.
After all, it is the difference in the views of OUf citizens. from
the differences between Jefferson and Hamilton to the differ-
ences between Truman and Dewey, which have made our
country strong.
But if you see your neighbor-and the views he expresses
might seem to agree with yours completely--commit an act
which leads you to suspect that he might be committing es-
pionage, sabotage or subversion, then report it to the F.B.I.
After that, forget about it. Mr. Hoover also said: "Do not
circulate rumors about subversive activities, or draw conclu-
sions from information you furnish the F.B.I. The data you
possess might be incomplete or only partially accurate. By
drawing conclusions based on insufficient evidence grave in-
justices might result to innocent persons."
In olber words, you may be wrong. In our system, it takes
a court, a trial and a jury to say a man is guilty.
Mr. Hoover went on to say: "Once you have reported your
information to the F.B.I., do not endeavor to make private in-
vestigations. This can best be done by trained investigators
who have access to data acquired over the years on individuals
engaged in subversive activities. Hysteria, witch-hunts and
vigilantes weaken internal security. Investigations inVOlving
internal security require care and painstaking effort. We all
can contribute to our internal security by protecting the inno-
cent as well as by identifying the enemies within our midst.
In cases involving espionage it is more important to identify
spies, their contacts, sources of information, and methods of
communications than to make immediate arrests,"
That last sentence is important. Once you know who a spy
is, there are many things you can do with him besides arrest
him. A spy is always only a small part of a network. If you
know who he is, through him you can learn about the rest of
the network. So, many times, spies are allowed to go about
their business, seemingly free, hut all the time being much
more useful to us than to the enemy.
Millions now work in factories which contribute to our
national defense and our national well-being. Millions more
will go into factories if an aU-out war comes. These factories
have been guarding against sabotage throughout their exis-
tence. Much sabotage has nothing to do with enemy action. It
can come from disgruntled employees, from carelessness.
Enemy sabotage is the extra added attraction of war, but it can
be handled in much the same way as peacetime sabotage. As a
worker in a factory you can keep your eyes open for all kinds
of sabotage and if you see something suspicious-report it to
the authorities. Do not take direct action.
Fouling up the civil defense organization of a city during
and after an A-bomb attack would be a logical objective of any
enemy. When communications lines are set up. safeguards will
be provided against sabotage of vital messages. The best de-
fense against this kind of sabotage 'is to be well trained in your
job. If you are you will know the people you will have to work
with. And you will know that you can trust those people.
There may be a danger to you after an A-bomb attack which
has nothing to do with enemy action, but which, if it occurs,
will help the enemy. This is looting.
There are always some people who like to take advantage of
disaster to other people. Sometimes these are only a few in-
dividuaJs, sometimes-especially in enemy countries during
World War II-the looting fever spreads and almost everybody
begins to help themselves.
A city which has suffered an A-bomb attack will have con-
trols placed upon it similar to martial law. Your police will
be helped in these controls by thousands of auxiliary police,
trained in the proper movement and restraint of people and
traffic, trained to take care and protect the law-abiding citizen.
If you see someone looting, report it immediately and, if your
civil defense organization has been well trained, the looters
will be taken care of.
A city which has suffered an A-bomb attock will have controls placed
upon it similar to martial law-
The practical release of atomic energy resulting in the
atomic bomb was an achievement that is considered equiva-
lent to the discovery of fire. Its consequences are world shaking,
affecting military strength and international relations, as well
as giving mankind a new source of power.
The atomic bomb project was the world's most gigantic
scientific project, Of as President Truman said in his 1945
announcement, "the greatest gamble in history."
The atomic
Historic dates in science's achievement of atomic power
have been added to human chronology: January 26, 1939,
when American physicists learned of European experiments
showing that one of the uranium isotopes underwent fission
with release of nuclear energy when bombarded with slow
neutrons; December 2, 1942, when the first self-maintaining
nuclear chain reaction was initiated in an uranium-graphite pile
at Stagg Field Stadium, Chicago; July 16, 1945, 5:30 a.m.,
when the first atomic explosion created by man blasted the New
Mexico desert; August 6, 1945, when the atomic bomb used in
warfare was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan; August II, 1945,
when Nagasaki was bombed; September 23, 1949, when Presi-
dent Truman announced, "We have evidence that within recent
weeks an atomic explosion occurred in the U.S.S.R."; Janu-
ary 31,1950, when President Truman authorized continuance
of work on the so-caned hydrogen bomb.
The story of the release of atomic energy reany begins
with many discoveries, experiments and theories in nuclear
physics in the 1930's, but the immediate start of the researches
which resulted so spectacularly was in January, 1939, when
two Germans, O. Hahn (awarded the Nobel prize in 1945)
and F. Strassmann proved that an isotope of barium was pro-
duced by neutron bombardment of uranium. The neutron is a
fundamental particle of matter without electrical charge and
with a mass about equal to that of the proton or nucleus of the
hydrogen atom. Two refugees from Germany, O. R. Frisch and
Lise Meitner, suggested that the absorption of a neutron by a
uranium nucleus sometimes caused that nucleus to split into
approximately equal parts with the conversion of some of the
mass, by Einstein's 1905 formulation (E= mc' ), into enor-
mous quantities of energy, a process called fission. These re-
ports were brought to the January 26, 1939, conference on
theoretical physics at Washington, D. C., jointly sponsored
by The George Washington University and the Carnegie In-
stitute of Washington, with Niels Bohr of Denmark, Enrico
Fermi and others discussing the problem. Experimental con-
firmation of uranium fission in several laboratories followed
and the suggested likelihood of emission of neutrons in the
process was demonstrated. This indicated the possibility of a
chain reaction releasing energy explosively, the neutrons pro-
duced splitting asunder other uranium atoms and producing
morc neutrons as well as energy.
The world's common sources of power, other than sun·
light and water power, are chemical reactions, such as the com-
bustion of oil and coal. They release energy as the result of
rearrangements in the outer electronic structures of the atoms.
This is the same kind of process that supplies energy to the
living body. Combustion is self-propagating. A match releases
enough heat to ignite the neighboring fuel, which in turn re-
leases more heat which ignites more fuel. Similarly, nuclear
reactions may emit particles of the same sort that initiate them
and they may be sufficient in number to propagate the reac-
tion in neighboring nuclei. This is called a chain reaction, and
it is this sort of reaction, accompanied by release of energy, that
occurs in the atomic bomb.
By June, 1940, just after the fall of France, when scientists
voluntarily restricted publication of papers on the subject of
uranium -fission in scientific journals, it was known that slow
neutrons caused fission in one isotope, uranium 235, but not
in the other, uranium 238. It was known that the average num-
ber of neutrons emitted per fission was between onc and three.
A chain reaction had not been achieved but its possibility was
clear. It was achieved three years later.
Jr/$ ' , :-0
;# <
( "
Fl. ... "'., "loAMI>- 8LA;l.1! FIR!!:
A chain reaction accompanied by release of energy occurs in the
atomic bomb--
What happened after the curtain of war secrecy was low-
ered was not revealed until August 10, 1945, when the .War
Department released as a part of its atomic bomb explanation
the now famous Smyth report. a semi-technical report on the
processes by which the use of atomic energy for military pur-
poses had been achieved, It was written by Dr, H, D. Smyth of
Princeton at the request of Maj. Gen. L. R, Groves, U. S.
Army, who headed the "Manhattan Project," as the Army
called the atomic bomb project during the war. It is available
as a government document from the Superintendent of Docu-
ments, Washington, D. C., at 35 cents. Much of the technical
and scientific data about the atomic bomb that can be pub-
lished without violation of security regulation are contained
in this report. The atomic energy project during the war cost
two billion dollars.
." " ... ". ".
!!tt' ... ··z,'


An enormous isotope separation plant was erected at Oak Ridge-
In order to make the fission reaction in Uranium 235
sustaining, it was found necessary to separate uranium 235
(less than 16 % in any uraninm sample) from the more
abundant isotope uranium 238 (more than 99% ). The more
common kind prevents the chain reaction by absorbing
trons. For this purpose an enormous isotope separation plant,
using gaseous diffusion methods, was erected at Oak Ridge,
Tenn. Much of the experimental work for the whole project
was done there.
Two new elements, heavier than uranium, -both of which
were "made to order" and neither of which was known to exist
in nature, played an important part in the atomic bomb reo
searches and manufacture. These were elements numbered 93
and 94 in the periodic table.
Formation of element 94 from uranium 238 by neutron
capture was effected in the Radiation Laboratory of the Uni-
versity of California in 1941. The new element was found to
undergo slow neutron fission like uranium 235. It was named
plutonium (Pu).
Plutonium, radioactive but 15 times as stable as radium,
was obtained from uranium 238, element 92 by way of the in-
termediate shortiived element 93, named neptunium (Np)
discovered in 1940. Uranium 238 changes to neptunium and
neptunium to plutonium by beta-ray transformation. Pluto-
nium emits an alpha ray and slowly changes into U 235.
Manufacture of plutonium from U 238 allowed utilization
of the inert uranium isotope for atomic bomb purposes. It
gave the advantage of sharp chemical separation of different
elements instead of the tedious diffusion methods of isotope
separation. Thus transmutation, for centuries the alchemists'
goal, became the method of choice of the group of scientists
who worked out the chemistry of the atomic bomb.
The problem in purifying fissionable material for the bomb
was to separate the kinds of the rare metal uranium, which
have a very slight difference in weight. To separate them by
this difference was slow and tedious, especially since the part
valuable for actual use in the bomb makes up less than one
part in a hundred in any quantity of the ore.
Here the knowledge and skill of chemists who have studied
the behavior of radium and other radioactive elements were
put to good advantage. It has been found in work with such
elements that their weight and their chemical nature depend
on two kinds of minute particles which make up the hearts
of their atoms.
The number of one kind of particle, the proton, in the atom
heart is responsible for the nature of the element. One proton
makes hydrogen, 26 protons make iron, 92 protons make ura-
nium. The other kind of particle in the atom heart is the
neutron. Uranium 235 has a Det result of 92 protons and 143
neutrons, adding up to 235, according to the chemists' calcu-
lations, while uranium 238 has three more neutrons than its
lighter isotope.
These two uraniums had to be separated, because only ura-
nium 235 would split up the way the scientists wanted it to for
use in the atomic bomb. Uranium 238 would not. By lucky
chance, the very property of uranium 238 which made it use-
less for the purposes of the bomb provided the clue which was
the best solution of the separation problem.
The more plentiful form of uranium 238 could be made to
undergo transformation into another kind of element by first
adding to the nucleus of its atom a neutron, to make it so heavy
that it would become unstable, then by allowing this heaviest
uranium atom to shoot an electron out of its structure. This
loss of electrons from the total quantity of uranium showed
itself as a phenomenon familiar to scientists as the beta ray.
It is the peculiar nature of radioactive elements to change into
something else when they emit beta rays, and that something
else is, oddly enough, not a lighter but a heavier element.
Accordingly, when unstable uranium 239, formerly the
heaviest known element, emitted its beta ray it changed into a
still heavier element, neptunium. Neptunium proved to be a
rather unstable element, and emitted a beta ray in its turn.
This change in the atom turned neptunium into another new
element, plutonium. The names of these three elements are
taken from the three farthest planets of our solar system.
Plutonium turned out to be a fairly stable element, about
whose chemical properties enough was soon learned to prove
that chemical separation of this new material from its parent
uranium would be a relatively easy task. Plutonium does not
readily follow the pattern by which it was formed, but even-
tually makes the opposite transformation by which it gives off
an alpha ray and turns into uranium 235.
Plutonium is the material used in present atomic fission
bombs. The Hiroshima bomb was of uranium 235.
Production of materials for atomic bombs was at first plan-
ned to be located at Oak Ridge, Tenn. Later the plant for full
scale manufacture of plutonium was built at Hanford, Wash·
ington, and the bomb laboratory was located at Los Alamos,
New Mexico.
Thorium, as well as uranium, is a raw material for the
atomic age, since a kind of uranium can be made from thorium,
a much more abundant element than uranium. The importance
of thorium in atomic energy production and control became
known when proposals for international control were first
made to the United Nations by the United States.
Thorium is bombarded with neutrons in a manner similar
to the production of plutonium from non-fissionable uranium.
Nine atomic bombs are known to have been exploded, three
in 1945, two in 1946 at Bikini, three in 1948 at Eniwetok, and
one in 1949, if the U.S.S.R. explosion was a bomb.
Four elements heavier than plutonium have been created
by alpha particle bombardment of lighter elements in cyclo-
trons at the University of California: 95, americium (AM);
96, curium (Cm); 97, berkelium (Bk); and 98, californium
(Cf). Thus atomic energy research has added six elements to
the 92 previously known.
A superbomb, the so-called hydrogen bomb, is being worked
on in this country and presumably also in Russia. It is rated as
having the possibility. of being a thousand times as powerful
as the plutonium or fission atomic bomb. This "fusion" bomb
has not yet been made and exploded, so far as known. Work
on the hydrogen bomb actually began during World War II.
Without the fission bomb, the fusion superbomb would not be
feasible since the extreme heat of the fission bomb would
probably be used as the trigger to begin the more powerful ex-
plosion of the fusion bomb.
Tritium, which is the triple-weight isotope of hydrogen,
probably would be the key material in the fusion bomb. It is
made by bombardment of lithium metal with neutrons in an
atomic reactor. Deuterium, double weight or heavy hydrogen,
might also react fast enough to explode.
Machines for the acceleration of high voltage particles
have played a major role in the discovery of atomic energy pro-
cesses, plutonium having been made first in the cyclotron.
Largest of the atom smashing apparatus so far built is the Uni-
versity of California's 184-inch synchro-cyclotron, using the
principle of frequency modulation to overcome relativity ef-
More than 50 particle accelerators are operating in the
United States in the range of millions of electron volts. About
an equal number are scheduled for construction. Synchro-
cyclotrons are operating at Columbia University, University of
Chicago and Carnegie Institute of Technology in the range of
the University of California 184-inch cyclotron now in opera-
tion. A synchrotron is now in operation at Berkeley which for
the first time accelerates electrons to energies of 300,000,000
electron volts.
Since even the largest present cyclotron possesses barely
enough power to produce low-energy mesons, the Atomic
Energy Commission authorized two gigantic accelerators which
will be in the multibillion electron-volt range. Both are proton-
synchrotrons. One of 60-foot diameter will be constructed at
Brookhaven National Laboratory, Long Island, N. Y., cost-
ing approximately $3,000,000, producing three to five bil-
lion electron-volt protons. The other at Berkeley will be of
11O-foot diameter, yielding five to seven billion electron-volt
protons, and will cost approximately $9,000,000.
About 15 chain-reacting piles (nuclear reactors) are known
to be operating in the world, about 10 of them in the United
States. Canada and England, France and presumably Russia
are the only locations of these atomic energy plants outside the
United States. The large reactors at Hanford, Wash., produce
plutonium for bombs from natural uranium with graphite as
moderator. A smaller uranium-graphite reactor at Oak Ridge,
Tenn., is used for research purposes and for production of
radio-active isotopes. Argonne National Laboratory, near
Chicago, has both a uranium-graphite and a uranium-heavy-
water reactor, both used for research. There are reactors at
Los Alamos, New Mex., used in atomic bomb research, one of
which is essentially an atomic bomb under control, releasing
its energy slowly. It uses plntonium, produces fast neutrons
and requires no moderator such as graphite or heavy-water. A
research reactor at Brookhaven is in operation.
Nuclear energy is likely to have its
a naval ship-
maior power application in
Both radioactive and stable isotopes (elements alike ex-
cept for weight) are available as by-products of the atomic
energy program and are being used for research and in medi-
cine, industry and agriculture. The 98 known elements have
more than 800 isotopes. About a hundred radioisotopes are
available from the Atomic Energy Commission at Oak Ridge,
Tenn., and more than a hundred stable isotopes are obtain-
able from the A.E.C. or otherwise. One important radioisotope
is carbon 14, with a half-life of 5,100 years, used as a tracer
in investigations of photosynthesis, metabolism, chemical trans-
formations of carbon compounds, etc. Radiocobalt 60, radio·
iodine 131 and radiophosphorus 32 are widely used in treat·
ment of patients with cancerous diseases and in studying these
diseases. Many chemical compounds labeled with C 14 are
Attempts and proposals for the international control of
atomic energy through the United Nations have reached a stale-
mate, with military developments s e ~ r e t in all countries.
There has been great hope in the world that the peaceful
uses of atomic energy would far outbalance the destructive
uses for war purposes. When it first became apparent that the
energy of the atomic nucleus could be made available prac-
tically, there were many predictions that atomic energy plants
could revolutionize our sources of power. Plentiful energy was
visualized for deserts that would make them fruitful and cap-
able of supporting large populations. Areas of the globe that
do not have supplies of oil and coal would be able to obtain
uranium power to supply their energy needs.
The world's preoccupation with developing atomic energy
for war has delayed the realization of these dreams of plenti-
ful atomic power. A stumbling block in the application of
atomic energy for peaceful power purposes has been the dif-
ficulty of control of atomic energy internationally. Atomic re-
actors in which uranium is fissioned with great release of
energy could be converted very speedily into atomic bombs
by any nation that would wish to divert the uranium and the
plutonium in the great atomic "furnaces" to weapon purposes.
There should be atomic power plants running now, to fulfill
the hopeful predictions of five years ago made just after the
world knew that atomic bombs had been exploded_
As it is, after several seeming false starts,. we are probably
two to three years away from the successful operation of the
kind of atomic power plant that might run submarines several
times around the world without refueling.
Our atomic power bets are laid almost exclusively upon two
ship propulsion reactors, one reported to be in the advanced
stages of engineering design and the other just begun. As an
auxiliary to weapons development, there are other projects of
the Atomic Energy Commission which will aid the eventual
power use of uranium at the same time that they help build
more and better bombs.
There has been great hope that peaceful uses of atomic energy
would far the destructive uses-
The military situation has dictated that virtually nothing
be done in power development that does not contribute to
our armed strength.
In the long run successful application of atomic power may
not come any later due to this emphasis on fighting power.
The problems in making a ship power plant are those of a
stationary installation, with many conditions much more dif-
ficult. For one thing, the cost factor is thrown overboard, for a
ship that does not have to refuel is priceless.
The cost of building an atomic ship reactor for the Navy is
estimated as about $1,400 per kilowatt, which is about ten
times as much as a conventional coal-burning power plant.
Intense radiation bombardment from the fissioning uranium
or plutonium is the greatest difficulty in an atomic power plant.
At least six feet of concrete is needed to shield the heat·pro·
ducing reactor and make it safe for men and materials nearby.
Ordinary materials, such as steel and other common metals
used in power plants, do not stand up under the battering of
neutrons, intense gamma rays (X·rays) and electrons (beta
rays). Heat in an atomic pile or reactor, where the fissioning is
going on, reaches at least a million degrees. No ordinary struc-
tural materials can withstand such temperatures.
Almost everything battered by the radiations is made so
radioactive itself that it becomes a source of dangerous radia-
tions. Transfer of heat from the reactor to the engines involves
handling so much liquid or gaseous "radium."
So far as known, there must be used relatively conventional
methods of applying the heat of atomic energy to practical en·
gines. Somehow the heat must be brought to the state of the
few hundreds of degrees of temperature range that steam or
turbo-jet engines can use.
Production of electricity directly from the neutron impact or
the fission reaction itself is not unthinkable, but there has been
no hint of any progress. Years ago there were attempts at direct
electrical production from the flame of ordinary combustion,
but without any marked degree of success.
The experience in atomic reactors or piles has been with
slow neutrons, the energy range that seems easiest to use.
Faster moving neutrons can be used and two of the AEC reac-
tors are pioneering in this unknown field. A materials testing
reactor is designed for the highest neutron flux yet attempted
but it is merely a step toward other reactors. The second ship
propulsion reactor will operate in the unexplored intermediate
neutron range. This is important because this intermediate
range will also allow the production of more fissionable mater-
ial, breeding as it is called, than is fed into it.
An atomic energy plant or reactor is an atomic bomb kept
under control. There is always the hazard of a run-away reac-
tor that would explode as a bomb or otherwise, although the
safeguards are many.
Any sale of power stocks or postponement of power develop-
ment plans anywhere in the world, in anticipation of practical
atomic power, is no more justified now than it was at the end
of the war.
Using the world's precious fissionable material to boil water
or the equivalent for gross power production may be a very
wasteful use of our natural resources of uranium (and thorium
from which fissionable uranium 233 can be made).
Unexpected new sources of chemical energy seem to be
present in the atomic reactors. For instance, potassium chloride
when irradiated changes into potassium sulfate, which means
that not only is chlorine changed to sulfur but that oxygen is
added, which is a real chemical surprise. Such oxidation is
usually obtained by burning fuel or using electricity. Such
changes in chemical compounds may open new chemical doors
and provide a way to use atomic energy without radiation
The many radioactive isotopes, also by-products of the
atomic reactors, are considered by many to be as important as
the atomic bomb itself, because of the discoveries that can be
made with them. Other chemical reactions of the atomic fur-
nace may be even more astonishing.
As examples, the use of just two of the radioisotopes may
more than repay the world all the time and energy and money
that has been spent on the development of the A-bomb and
its by-products. Radiocobalt 60 is now widely used in the
treatment of cancer, replacing the far more expensive radium
upon which medical science had to rely a decade ago. More
than the whole world's supply of radium can be matched by
the radiocobalt that can be artificially created in an atomic
reactor in a very short time. And this particular radioisotope is
only one of a half-dozen which are used medically because of
their radiations.
Radiocarbon 14 is being used extensively in research upon
life processes in plants and animals, including the human body.
Photosynthesis is basic to all of our liFe here on earth-
One of the great research projects now under way is an inves-
tigation of a mechanism and method of photosynthesis, the
process by which plants capture the sunshine and turn into
materials containing available energy. This process of photo-
synthesis is basic to all of our life here on earth, because it
makes it possible for the fields and forests to capture a small
percentage of the sun's energy and store it up in food, wood
and other substances. Even the oil and the coal and the peat
of past ages owes its existence to the photosynthesis process.
Now the factory can not do what the green leaf does in cap-
turing the sun's energy. But researches in progress promise to
produce a practical method of understanding photosynthesis
and adapting it to "factory" use. When this is done, the peace-
ful results of this achievement will far outdistance the release
of atomic energy by the fission process, and a new era of
plentiful energy should begin if mankind can prevent the con-
tinuing destruction of war.
A thousand times or more powerful than the A-bomb is
the H-bomb, the hydrogen or fusion bomb.
I! it can be made, you can just go through this book multi-
plying by 1000, or 100, or 10 most of the effects discussed to
make them apply to the H or superbomb.
The major question about the hydrogen bomb is: Can it
be made and will it explode as expected? .
You may be confident that the hydrogen bomb is in about
the same state that the uranium bomb was about 1943 or 1944,
a year or two before the first atomic explosion. Scientists
think it can be done and the Atomic Energy Commission is
working on it. Undoubtedly the U.S.S.R. is working on it, too,
and may even get there first.
The hydrogen bomb has not been made or exploded. That
is a matter for the future.
The hydrogen or superbomb reaction is different from that
of the atomic or A-bomb made of fissionable materials, ura-
nium or plutonium. The energy comes from the changing of
matter into energy, as Einstein computed, but the lightest
elements known are involved in the "fusion" process of the
The size of the fission or A-bomb is limited by the circum-
stance that if too much of the fissionable metals-uranium
235 or 233 or plutonium-are brought together they will ex-
plode because the neutrons from their exploding atoms will
start and maintain a chain reaction. This critical mass is some-
where between 2.2 and 220 pounds, exactly what is secret.
The A·bomb is set off by bringing together suddenly two pieces
of less than critical mass which together will be more than the
amount that would start the explosion.
Instead of being self-starting, the superbomb needs the high-
temperature "trigger" of a fission bomb to get it going. It is
safe to bring large amounts of the raw material of the super·
bomb together-it can weigh a ton or more. Its size is limited
only by the amount of hydrogen "fuel" that can be "set fire"
in the few billionths of a second of the explosion of the "ig-
niting" A·bomb. The high temperature necessary to set off the -
superbomb can be provided by the tens of billions of degrees
Centigrade of the A-bomb explosion.
The speed with which the hydrogen atoms can react under
such heat determines what will make the superbomb.
Certainly the ordinary kind of single-weight hydrogen will
not do, for it takes far, far too long. Computations show that
such reactions, which keep the sun stoked with energy, extend
over billions of years. Billionths of a second are more like what
is necessary in the fusion superbomb.
The H-bomb is 1000 times more powerful than the A-bomb--
It is just as well that there are three kinds of hydrogen. The
commonest is the ordinary sort in the waters of the earth. Its
heart or nucleus consists of one proton. Then there is heavy
hydrogen, or deuterium, which was discovered here in America
in 1931, which is naturally present as 1/ 4500th of hydrogen in
nature. This is hydrogen 2, with a nucleus of one proton and
one neutron, which as a particle is caned a deuteron. Then
there is tritium, the third kind of hydrogen, "heavy, heavy
hydrogen," which has a nucleus of one proton and two neu-
trons, called a triton. A team of British physicists first made it
in 1934 by atomic bombardment of deuterons with deuterons.
It may be produced by neutron bombardment of lithium in an
atomic reactor such as those at Hanford. It is still a very rare
element, non-existent now in nature since it is radioactive and
half of it disappears every 12 years. Yet this a prime stuff of
the superbomb to be.
What happens in the superbomb is that hydrogen is turned
into helium. This is what happens, so far as an end result is
concerned, in the atomic process that keeps the sun stoked.
The transformation in the superbomb is different and direct.
It is almost instantaneous and it will happen only when the
hydrogen is concentrated and "ignited" by A-bomb heat.
It seems most likely that either a reaction of deuterium
with tritium, or tritium with tritium, will be the reaction of
choice. Deuterium combined with tritium gives a helium atom
and a neutron, while two tritons coming together produce the
helium atom (alpha particle) and two neutrons.
The heavier hydrogens are expensive, although the AEC
price tags upon them now are not fair values of their cost in
the superbomb production. (For research purposes it is possible
to buy from the A.E.C. five cubic centimeters of 50% tritium
gas at a cost of $1,315 which figures out to something like the
fantastic figure of a quarter of a billion dollars per pound.)
Deuterium can be concentrated out of ordinary water, but tri-
tium must be made with the use of fissionable material, com-
peting for neutrons with the production of plutonium which is
the principal job of the big atomic reactors at Hanford, Wash.
Tritium is made by neutron bombardment of the very light
metal lithium, much the same way that plutonium is made by
bombardment of uranium 238 by neutrons from the controlled
fissioning of uranium or plutonium.
<Special 76dalj
, 'l!SO,OOQ. OOO
p ~ r /iJ.
- - - - - - - - - - - - ~ ~ - ~ ~ , - - - - - - - - - - - -
Tritium is sold by the A.f.e. for research purposes-
The heavier kinds of hydrogen would be put into the super-
bomb in as concentrated fann as possible, which means that
they must be under very great pressure or very cold or both.
Or they may be used as solid compounds-this is speculation
but the uranium of the trigger bomb might be combined with
the heavy hydrogens to form a solid.
The problems in making the superbomb seem very much
more complex than the making of the original uranium bomb
must have been. Of course, we know now that the fission
(uranium or plutonium) bomb will go off. We are not so sure
that the superbomb will explode the way that we expect it.
What has been done is so much simpler than what has never
been done.
Except for the fear that others will do it first and use it
against us, it would be foolish to try to make the hydrogen
bomb. Even the making and stockpiling of tritium is a bad
business as we shall lose half of our supply every 12 years, due
to its radioactive disintegration.
Some scientists argue very strongly that we should not
try to make the superbomb. Certainly it has no industrial or
peacetime uses that can be foreseen now. Its reaction is just
too big, sudden and powerful. There seems to be no way you
can use the reaction in a power plant.
If it works, it is devastation beyond man's most hellish
To prevent A-bombs from falling by persuading those who
have them not to explode them will be the most effective A·
bomb protection. Several factors in the world situation may
prevent A-bombs from being exploded.
First of all, if there were no conflict between nations there
would be no wars and no possibility of A-bombings. Even if
there is war on a large or a small scale, both the Soviets and
the United States may refrain from using A-bombs. The United
States, as a national policy, will use A-bombs only as a retalia-
tion in the future. It will not start an atomic war.
The Soviets, if they have the A-bomb perfected and ready
for military use, probably do not have as large stocks as the
United States and the threat of retaliation by the United States
may deter Russian A-bomb attacks.
The best protection of our civilian population would be
the avoidance of war. Whether we have war depends not alone
upon ourselves and our leaders, diplomatic and military. The
decision to make war upon us lies largely in the hands of our
We can do something to persuade our rivals in a divided
world that they can exist safely without waging war. That is the
prime purpose of the cold war, our international negotiations,
our fight for peace within the United Nations, our Voice of
America, psychological push for peace.
Part of the difficulty of any conflict, whether it is between
individuals, groups of peoples or nations lies in the conceptions
and misconceptions of the people involved. We do not like
:::J 131
m ~
E5 ~
Ii!ill l2::J 53 C
!HI ~ ED 8?
~ ~
To prevent A-bombs from falling by persuading those who have
them not to explode them will be the most effective A-bomb pro-
other people because we do not know them, and we do not un-
derstand them. They think differently from the way we do-at
least they have had different childhood experiences, different
schooling, different training, different living conditions, dif-
ferent food, different language, different clothes from us.
Superficially, at least, they are quite different. Fundamental-
ly, the scientists tell us various peoples do not differ from other
peoples much more than individuals in our own community
differ from other individuals.
We live reasonably well at peace with other people in our
nation who have different economic ideas, different political
affiliations, different religions, different racial origins, different
skin color and even different language and dialects. We have
solved the problem of not warring among ourselves.
If atomic energy is to be used for the peaceful progress of the
world, and not its destruction, we must transfer to the world
at large the success that we have had in bringing peace to our
half of the world. There still may be time to accomplish this
before inflamed emotions and mental aberrations, both in high
places and among the peoples themselves, trigger a world ex-
Everyone can understand both the possibility and the dif-
ficulty of not fighting.
Our good neighbors, our civic labor and industrial leaders,
our politicians, our religious leaders and our psychiatrists help
us keep ourselves and our community at peace. The world
needs the same effective treatment if it is to cure itself without
a purge of blood.

;) ,
) ... ,J •
<:lid "

. J

' ..

. ,
•• .
· :n





. '

. >

Plan and Sections for a Simple Shelter.
Details of a Simple Shelter .
A-bomb; (see also Explosion):
after-effects, 19-23,68
delivery of, 50, 55, 57-58
destruction from, 11-18
effects of, 4-23
"nominal," 10
Air raid shelters, 34-35,183-184
Alpha particles, 8, 63-64, 167, 178
Areas of destruction, 12-18
Atomic energy:
history of, 159-170
peaceful uses, 170-175
Beta particles, 8, 64, 69,165-166
Blast, 15, 16
Bleeding, see First Aid
construction of new, 113
damage to, 7, 11-14
Burns, see First Aid
Civil defense, 23-50
check-list for emergency plan,
city director, 43-44
community director, 43-44
federal director, 40-41
national, 39-41
regional director, 41-43
volunteer jobs, 28-30
what you can do. 23-37
Communications, 47
keeping open, 26, 100-102
Construction of new buildings, 113
Contamination (see also Decontam-
ination) :
of food and water, 94-95
Control station, central, 108-110
Decontamination, 34, 83-95
methods, 87-95
reducing, at home, 89-91
Defense, see Civil and Military De-
Detectors, radiation, 70, 74-83
air burst, 16-18, 66
areas of destruction, 12-18, 116-
described, 4-7
fire, 7, 36
heat, 6, 8, 16, 17, 144-145, 172,
pressure, 6, 7, 10, 12, 16
underground, 15-16, 67-68
underwater, 15-16, 67-68
Fear, controting, 98-100
Federal Bureau of Investigation,
Fire, 7, 36
how to fight, 143-152
prevention, 146-152
Fire department, 36, 147-151
volunteer aid, 36, 149-151
First aid; 114-143
areas of expected injuries, 116-
bleeding, serious, 123-125
burns, treatment of, 127-140
medical, 114-120
radiation sickness, 121-123
shock, treatment for, 140-143
tourniquets, 126-127
training in, 32-33
treatment, 120-127
Gamma rays, 8, 18,64-65,69,71,
106, 172
Ground zero, 6
defense within the, 37
-fire prevention, 146-147
how to make safer, 111-113
reducing contamination, 89-91
Hospital workers, voluntary corps,
Hydrogen bomb, 70-72, 167, 175-
[nfannatian, public, 29-30, 100-
International control, 170, 180-182
Isotopes, 72-74, 163, 164, 167,
169, 174-175
Looting, 158-159
Military defense, 50-59
Neutrons, 8,18,65-66,71,72,94,
Organizing against attack, 37-50
Panic, 23, 82, 95-103
Police, 36, 158-159
volunteer aid, 36, 158-159
Protection, 103-114
home, making safer, 11-113
Protons, 165, 168, 177, 178
Radiation, 10, 16,68-83, 121, 172
alpha particles, 63-64
background, 60
beta particles, 8, 64, 69
detectors, 74-83
dosage, 85-87
Radiation (cont.)
explained, 60-63
gamma rays, 8, 18, 64-65, 69,
71, 106
initial, 63-66
neutrons, 8, 18, 65-66, 71, 72,
nuclear, 7, 18,62
photons, 62
residual, 7, 16,20,62-63,66-68,
78, 86
types of, 8, 59-68
Radiation sickness, 18-19, 121-123
Radioactivity (see also Radiation),
detectors, 70
materials sown from plane, 21,
poisoning, 68-74, 85
Radiological warfare, 21-22, 68-71
Refugees, 31, 34
Rescue workers, 32-34
Sabotage, preventing, 153-158
role of citizen, 156-158
air raid, 34-35
building a small shelter, 37, 106-
108, 183-184
plans for a small, 183-184
Shock, see First Aid
Shock wave, 10, 14, IS, 145
Skin bums, 16
Utilities, damage to, 13-14
Volunteer jobs, 28-36
Warden, job of, 30-31
Weapons, new, 53-55
Your compl et ed set include!; li tfiking phoTOs
of our victorious G.1. ' s in Berlin.
Rome and Tokyo. Sce the historic conference.
at Yalea, Franci sco, Potlidam; the havoc
wrought by Atomic Bombs; scene:> in every
war area !
• Yaftk "Hen On W ..... T." Army roelacj
+hrouqh Germollyl Liberation of Amerieo ..
War prison.,rs!
• Actual photos of Paraelll". I"vos[oor
troop. floot[.q from the dtle_lId in action I
• Blitr;kri., q of Polond, !"rollc. , Norway!
• Berlin in ruin. after bomb .... blows!
• Rout of Jop fleets b. battle. of Coral Sea,
, Midway. Pililipp;', • • , Jap [n!olld Seal AND
Examine Both Books FREE!
\V" originally planned to sell this " P ICTO-
RIAl. HISTORY" a. a 4'Yoillme ""t , one
volume for each year of the war , and to price
the set at $22.00. By combinina- the full can·
tents of these -4 volumes into 2 great
and making otkr economies, we are able t o
offer yon this exptnsive illustrated set at the
bargain priee of only $3.9S ""r book pins
postage - if yon decide to keep them after
50 W. 471h SI., N. Y. 19, N. Y.
Send me -4·Volnme Set of "PICTORI AL
HISTORY" bound as 2 books. After 7
daYI' FREE tdal, I will either retnm
them promptly and owe nothing; or keep
them at":! send only $1 then and only $1
a month nntil low price of only $7.96 plu.
po5taa-e is paid.
Mail only $7.96 wilh th,' 0' full
paym.nt and we w,1I stand all

I ZONE NO •.. .. .......... STATE ..
I D Ch#clJ heu if Y(JU r t al M(J ro&ca
I Gr"b.,d Arlcraft bi .. ding. Only 51
I txlra PIT boa/: . Stlmt l #rm1. I
I Hundr edl and hundr. dl of amozin,. photo' I
art now b. in ... incorporated into an I x.:it-
ing 3rd Volum., companion to 2· VoIum. I
I s . t d escrib .. d above. It w1l\ bl ready at I
$3.'ffl on saml t . rms. R .... 'v. your 0 I
• co py nowl Just init ial this .
Sets Sold
""'n unbeliev.blr I
would not .ell the .. pl<tur" fo,
.ewr.! lim ... th" coot, un! ... , I
CQuld definitelr. lrt anothe, .. ,: •
Mayor O<VlUe L. Hubbard,
[Harborn, Mich.
"The IIne.t book of pOttu .. , of
war I han ever .... n."_ N. K.,
Tur,le C,eek. Pa.
..... lreat hit. Seve"'! 01 my
budd, ... "re planninc to order
them .. !" .. " .el,'·-Cpl. H. M.,
Fort Bran, N. C.
Use Free-Trial Coupon
-HI on In5ide Flap
Now You May This Historical Picture
Record of the War for Lifetime Reference
ERE'S a living record of every of witb.-ring barrages on every
phase of World War II duro fighting frOrtt - on evcry
ing four years-in hundrcds of in the skies - in every major land,
aSlounding camera Ha and aerial
porlrayed so vividly Ihal the war Ihroughout the Globe! of
appears to be re·enacted before tb.-se piCiures are as large u
your very eyes! 10" x 14"! Many 5Cenes Ire re'
VaHa1l1 cameramell gave their \'ealed for Ihe first lime! Truly,
li"u in tbe making of this the mOSt s..apilic record ever made
lounding photographic record! of any war in history-in these
Miraculous action shots 'lYere made great books that .... 111 Ihrill you
in the helt of bailie - in the face for a hfetime I
Gripping! Thrilling! Unbelievable!
VERY American want5 this the brilliant British campaign
pictorial record of our Armed acron Africa, the li:uerilla fighting
Fprc",s in action .•. makine: their in France, Yue:os!avia. Greece.
courali:eous stand with MacArthur China! with your own
on Bataan and Corregidor-storm_ the compl",te picture panorama of
ing the beaches of the Pacific- war as captured by the lenses
bhl.sting Zeros and MU$e"chmitts of courali:eous American, British.
from the skits - sinking battle. Russian. French. and German and
ships - makinli: bloody invasion Ita Ii,," caine ... men.
landings on many' distant shores Thi. "PICTORIAL HISTORY
of the globe. OF THE SECOND WORLD
In these extaordinary volum ... s WAR" i. unequalled for its
• • . in accurate. intimate, reveal_ authenticity, and power to hold
in, pictures, you relive with ouT"' you enthralled. The whole
boys their and triumphs. of the war panes before you in
See them in action from the broil. pictures, chronolo,ically arranli:ed
inli: sands of Africa to the foxholes with captions that tell the com·
of the Marianas-from the junc1u plete soul·stirrin, dram •.
of Burma to the Arctic wutes of In these books, you will pOISes.
the Aleutian5 - from reputed what will undoubtedly become'a
routs of the ]ap.nue fleet to the most sought IIofter and hili:hly
obliteration bombinli:s of Ger_ prized historical item for li:enera
many! tions to come. Every vetlran, al
See the indomitable O. I. JOH well as families of veterans, will
c'n vi or u victor, want to own !;his reat record.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful